After the midway point of the fourth quarter in the preseason matchup between the Cavs and Magic in Orlando tonight, No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett was 0-5 from the field for 2 points on a pair of free throws. He’d even missed an early fourth quarter attempt from the top of the key that barely grazed the front of the iron. Then, with more than half of the fourth expired, he banged into the paint and an off-balance shot banked in for his first field goal. It would not be his last.
Bennett proceeded to go off, scoring 12 more points in the ensuing five minutes including two triplets. At the time of his first bucket, the Cavs were down 90-92 against the No. 2 pick in the 2013 Draft, Victor Oladipo (who was himself an impressive 7-13 from the field for 18 points) and the Magic. Bennett — who started the game 0-for-5 — finished 6-for-6, and the Cavs won 110-105.
Perhaps the most impressive component of Bennett’s flash of unconscious accuracy, was the manner in which he was scoring. This wasn’t a series of dunks and layups, the lucky recipient of poor Orlando rotations. No, it was a compendium of natural-looking 3-pointers, pull-ups and turnarounds with that 7-1 wingspan like a young Kevin Durant, except with genes that favor wider jeans.
The last Anthony bucket came after an errant behind-the-back pass from Russian Sergey Karasev. The pass sailed to Bennett’s right before he wrested control and slipped it from his thigh into a quick 3-pointer that snapped the twine before the rotating defender could get to him. He made the whole sequence look easy.
This is the preseason so one 5-minute stretch doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things. But it’s hard for us to temper our enthusiasm since it could also be a precursor to similar grand exploits. At least, that’s what the rest of the Cavs and their fans are hoping. Enjoy your dreams tonight Cavs fans; you can count Anthony Bennett jumpers instead of sheep. You deserve it.
What do you think?
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