Rookie Tyler Zeller has been starting at center for the Cleveland Cavaliers, which really speaks more to their depth issues than his play.
But Monday night Zeller was out and Marreese Speights got a chance got a chance to start, he hit 10-of-10 for 21 first half points when the Cavaliers were ahead of the New York Knicks. Like all the Cavaliers not named Irving Speights struggled in the second half (two points on 0-for-4 shooting).
Like many coaches, Byron Scott told the Plain Dealer what he remembered was the second half, not the first half.
“I don’t think they did anything,” he said of New York’s defense. “I thought he missed some shots that he had. I thought he took a couple of bad shots. I thought defensively against the pick and roll he was really not there.
“I thought in the first half he was really focused and into it and the second half I thought he probably stayed in the locker room from a mental standpoint.”
I get where Scott is here, Zeller is the youngster and the future and he needs a lot of run. The Cavaliers are a young team learning about playing together and winning in the league. And Scott would not be the first coach frustrated with Speights.
But Speights has some experience winning in Memphis the last couple years, he gets the game, and he could teach those youngsters a thing or two if they are watching.