Cavaliers hit minicamp to work on ... well, just about everything
The Cleveland Cavaliers have returned to a sort-of training camp, some players in shape, others no so much, but everyone happy the ball is bouncing again.
They even have already gotten in some five-on-five, making all of it feel a little more real.
That says a lot, when you consider the Cavs and the seven other teams not invited to the NBA restart in Orlando have not played an actual game (nor conducted an actual practice) since March.
They played just 11 games after J.B. Bickerstaff took over for John Beilein as coach in February, winning five and showing several signs of hope.
Bickerstaff told reporters Wednesday that the players seemed motivated, despite the obvious challenges of being separated for such a long period.
Most of the main names are at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for the Cavs very own bubble, in which they stay at a downtown hotel, make their way to the arena and undergo all the necessary testing and safety protocols. Camp is scheduled to run for three weeks.
Included in the bunch: Kevin Love, Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr., Larry Nance Jr. and even Dylan Windler, who missed his entire rookie season with a lower leg injury.
Bickerstaff, Love and Sexton all addressed the first day of the camp, with Bickerstaff praising Love's leadership and Love seemingly thrilled with the idea of the return, despite serving as the Cavs' senior citizen at the ripe old basketball age of 32.
"If we are getting together, I’m going to be here," Love said.
Then there was Sexton, the team's leading scorer who occasionally draws the ire of some fans for doing nothing more than ... well, scoring.
But those fans will be pleased to know Sexton implied he has spent the hiatus focusing on all aspects of the game.
"I've been working on my passing," he said.
Not in attendance -- Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova, Cedi Osman and Andre Drummond. Thompson and Dellavedova are headed for unrestricted free agency, Osman is still stuck in Turkey and Drummond is because of a "personal situation." Drummond also has a large player option on his contract, which he has yet to exercise but recently insisted he will.
At any rate, the Cavs finished 19-46 this past season, the worst record in the Eastern Conference and second-worst overall in the entire league. (In spite of that, they again will be selecting fifth overall in the Nov. 18 draft.)
So they know they need all the work they can get. Finally and fairly gleefully, it has begun.