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Cavs’ Bennett down 12-15 pounds since training camp

Cleveland Cavaliers rookie forward Anthony Bennett has reportedly dropped 12-15 pounds since he arrived in training camp this past October. Bennett showed up to camp overweight and out of shape, having missed several weeks after sustaining a shoulder injury which prevented him from working out for teams during the draft process. The secret? Bennett has cut out a lot of dairy products, considerably reduced his carbohydrate intake and is focusing on proteins and water while avoiding juices.

“I wasn’t really worried about my weight at all because I was still playing, still running up and down and I felt good,” Bennett said. “But I felt like I needed to get back to my playing weight [of 240 pounds].”

The No. 1 overall pick has had a rough start to his NBA career, averaging 2.2 points and 1.9 rebounds per game, having been relegated to the end of head coach Mike Brown’s bench. In effort to improve his lackluster play, Bennett has taken to watching videos of himself in the NCAA where he was a dynamic and explosive power forward for the UNLV Running Rebels.

“I just have to get back to the player I was in college,” said Bennett. “I was playing with a smile on my face. It was fun, carefree, running up and down a lot. There’s a whole bunch of stuff I can try to get back to.”

In nine minutes off of the bench this past Friday, Bennett was 3-for-5 for six points, adding two rebounds.

[Related: So, about that whole “Anthony Bennett is a power forward” thing…]

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  • mgbode

    I am trying my best to hold out hope for him and that his offseason shoulder surgery hurt him to the point where he just wasn’t ready for the jump to the NBA.

    It sounds like he is listening to the team as far as getting healthy and that is a start. But, watching him, it still seems like he needs an offseason to hopefully transform his body so that he can really develop. Let’s hope he shows us some glimpses of his shooting prowess until then.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I figured that was the case… the last time I saw him play, he looked quite a bit more svelte.

  • BROSEPH

    I still think he came back too early from that injury and it threw him way off of basketball rhythm.

  • jeff

    The person I would compare Anthony to most would be Thaddeus Young of the 76ers. Thaddeus struggled mightily in his first two months his rookie year, and then became a pretty decent player. Let’s not write Anthony’s NBA obituary yet guys. He very well could be a bust, but let’s give him more than two months.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/player/gamelog/_/id/3244/year/2008/thaddeus-young

  • mgbode

    hang on…accidentally grabbed Thad’s 2nd year.

  • CB Everett

    RE: Comments that there still might be time for him before busthood—The facts that a #1 overall pick’s weight was an issue coming into camp/is still an issue; talk about trying to find himself again/regain his college love for the game; debates about whether to D league him or find another position for him to play; discussions about whether he can be a productive player in the league; and every other stupid thing we hear about a guy who should just be producing in some way—are huge red flashing signs that he’s already set up his home in bustville. What a failed pick.

  • jeff

    Thad also didn’t have shoulder surgery the summer before his rookie season and didn’t have to sit/ not play for the summer. So you’re saying that Thad scoring 2.1 more points and .6 more rebounds per game and still becoming a decent playing can’t happen with Bennett?

  • jeff

    Take a deep breath man. Let’s see how he’s playing in February now that he has dropped some weight, not how he played in mid-December of his rookie year after not playing all summer.

  • woofersus

    I think he was raw and should have spent another year in college AND the shoulder injury hurt him, both in physical conditioning and in significant rust on his game. Training camp in the NBA is a whirlwind, and the Cavs were installing defense 90% of the time.

    I can’t say I’m entirely optimistic, but there’s still hope, and I do think his body will continue to develop, and the shots will fall eventually, but it’s clear he just physically dominated people in college and the skill set is underdeveloped. Hence, his game completely fell apart when he came in out of shape and not hitting shots.

    He may not think that 15lbs was hurting him that much, but to my eyes he’s significantly quicker than he was at the start of the season. If he can get stronger AND play down around 235lbs, (another 5lbs lighter) maybe he can be a tweener in a good way rather than a bad way.

  • mgbode

    I didn’t say that Bennett cannot develop and understand the issues (see my other post above for my thoughts there).

    But, I wanted to point out that Thad wasn’t absolutely terrible in shooting despite limited minutes. When the minutes expanded, Thad kept that offensive efficiency.

    Bennett is a good rebounder. He should get better when he adds more strength to his girth. That is the one positive to clamp onto with Bennett thus far.

  • jeff

    I got you man. Just don’t get the Cavs fans freaking out like they are about Bennett, especially after they freaked out with Tristan (developed fine after a rocky start), Dion (developed fine after a rocky and out of shape start) and especially after Kyrie’s first game (when people were calling him a bust after one game). Give Bennett some time. He was a NOPINO (number one pick in name only).

  • CB Everett

    You miss my point. They’re not talking about weight, summer play etc with guys like Victor Olapido. The mere fact we’re discussing justifications for Bennett’s lack of success/projecting hopefulness that he can rebound into some form of productive player in the future says it all. But ok, let’s wait until Feb to call this pick if that’s what it takes…

  • jeff

    I will repeat. Take a deep breath. Getting into a huff 20 games into Bennett’s rookie year is pointless.

  • cmm13

    Unless Grant has an UNBELIEVABLE…. and I am talking….. “the Heat summer of 2010″ UNBELIEVABLE offseason; Bennett should cost Grant his job.

  • Letterman007

    Chris Grant knew he was a project when they drafted him. Just not this big of a project!! That is why he needs to go to Canton and get in shape and get his game back. He won’t do that sitting on the bench or changing positions, as he needs to play more minutes and run that weight off !!

  • Horace

    He wasn’t even *that* good of a shooter in college. His 3pt % was in the high 300s from the college line, which is OK and his FT % was sub 800. This isn’t exactly Ray Allen (or even Paul millsap) that we are talking about. Not to mention, he was really a sophomore age-wise. I’m thinking undersized villanueva as a best case – weak defensive pF who is an average shooter but chucks up too many 3s. Ugh.

  • mgbode

    ok, let’s dissect as you do bring up some fair points.

    he has a March birthday. so, he was 19yo last year until the end of the season. yes, you can argue sophomore or freshman age there. valid point.

    his FT% was only 70%, but how does that explain why it is only 38% this year? that is a gigantic dropoff.

    his 3pt shooting was 38% in college and there is always a worry about the transition to the NBA there.

    And, I wasn’t all that big on him as a draft prospect. I liked him well enough, but certainly not #1 overall. However, his draft stock did not come from just his shooting ability. He was known as an incredibly athletic guy who would get a ton of rebounds, got to the line a bunch (and made a good %), could get out in transition extremely well, as well as handle the ball a little and shoot 3pters some. A poor man’s Kevin Love or a potential Larry Johnson/Grandmama is what he was often described as being capable of becoming (note: Kevin Love had very similar shooting% across the board at UCLA).

    Obviously, that is not what we are seeing here. We are hoping that it is due to injury, conditioning, etc. as those things are fixable. After the Trent Richardson ribs episode, I certainly understand that fans are skeptical and going purely on what they see on the court. I think I lay somewhere in the middle (I’m extremely frustrated watching him play, then I usually cool down when thinking about long-term).