Cavs Notes – Garland practices, Beilein earning respect and Knight's health

The Cavaliers' preseason begins on Oct. 7

James Rapien
October 03, 2019 - 2:59 pm
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CLEVELAND, OH – The Cavaliers continued to prepare for the regular season on Thursday. The team practiced at Cleveland Clinic Courts with their first preseason game just four days away. Rookie Darius Garland participated for the first time this week.

“Darius went up-and-down with no issues,” John Beilein said. “We didn’t take him full up-and-down every single time. We shut him down with just a little bit left to go.”

Garland has been dealing dealing with right foot soreness. He was at the Cavaliers’ facility last week and got plenty of work in according to head coach John Beilein.

“We are not concerned at all,” Beilein said earlier in the week. “Half the stuff we are doing right now is for Cedi (Osman), Delly (Matthew Dellavedova) and Kevin (Love).”

The Cavaliers’ veteran players didn’t have the luxury to show up for camp 10 days early like the rookies did. Instead, they’re learning the intricacies of a new offense and getting acclimated to Beilein’s system.

“He’s straightforward and he holds guys accountable,” Brandon Knight said of the first-year head coach. “He wants the best for us. We all appreciate that – a coach that’s not just going to say ‘Oh, you guys did it wrong’ and move on. He’s going to make sure we get it right.”

Knight had a healthy offseason for the first time in years. He said he made sure he invested in his body so he can stay healthy. Knight hasn't played in more than 54 games since 2013. 

Thursday was the first time Garland was able to play with everyone on the team. He’s impressed his teammates so far during training camp.

“Beyond his years both on and off the court,” Knight said of the rookie. “Has a really good pace to his game. Very skilled for his age and being that young.”

Other Notes – Beilein said Jordan Clarkson could play small forward at times this season, especially with rookie Dylan Windler battling a leg injury. Clarkson was a spark off the bench for the Cavaliers last season.

Collin Sexton took hundreds of 3-point shots after Thursday’s practice. The second-year pro worked on his jab-step, hesitation, crossover and more before taking shots from all over the court.

The team watched film on Thursday morning. They won’t have a second practice at night, which is something they had been doing in camp.

Beilein says he doesn’t want his guys making 50-50 plays. Instead, he wants them to take 50-50 shots.

“50-50 is if you’re trying to make a play down the lane and you’re not sure if it’s going to work or not – don’t throw it,” Beilein said. “A 50-50 shot means you’re wide open – it’s a shot you make 50 percent of the time. Take it every damn time.”