The Cleveland Cavaliers will not be a good team this season. Whether they rebuild immediately or not, the team will clearly not be a championship contender in 2010-2011 and will be a fringe playoff team at best. In the meanwhile however, interesting story lines are developing with the summer league team in Las Vegas.
One of the best is the surprise of point guard Pooh Jeter, who nailed an impressive three-pointer with only 6.9 seconds remaining to give undefeated Cleveland an 81-80 victory over the Chicago Bulls Friday night. Jeter finished with 20 points, seven assists and only two turnovers in the contest, continuing a solid stretch of play in three games played for the Cavs team.
It’s been a work in progress implementing Byron Scott’s fast-paced offense, but Jeter might be developing as the best non-roster prospect out there. The 26-year-old out of University of Portland could add some depth to the back court especially in the case of a trade.
In his three games for the overachieving summer league Cavs, the “better” Jeter is now averaging 16.0 points along with 6.7 assists and only one turnover on 50% shooting from the field. He averaged 18.5 points along with about three assists and boards during his senior season in 2005-2006 before becoming a journeyman throughout Europe and the NBDL.
His handling of the Byron Scott offense has been a huge plus for the team so far, enabling players like J.J. Hickson (24.3 pts per game) and Danny Green (11.3 pts per game) to have much more success than usual. Who knows whether Mo Williams, Sebastian Telfair or any other potential guard on the team will be able to have this kind of efficiency with the new style, but at least it looks good for right now.
For those interested, Jeter also kept a blog of his summer league adventures from a season ago including some memories of his time hanging around the Cavs. It is a feel good story for all to enjoy and his heroics Friday could be a signal of a potential payday for him too.
(Photo above via Menorca Basketball Team)