A few random observations following the Cavaliers 114-98 loss in San Antonio on Sunday:
Donald Sloan is proving to be a pretty decent pickup when it comes to backing up starting point guard Kyrie Irving. Sloan seems to understand when to push things and when to set up the half-court offense, never forcing the tempo.
When it comes to the long term, Sloan is probably a better fit for the Cavs than the recently departed Lester Hudson (signed with the Grizzlies, whom the Cavs visit Monday). Sloan fills a need, meaning the Cavs may not have to look for a point guard in the draft or free agency. Even with Hudson, they would have needed at least one more shooting guard entering 2012-13.
Its true that Sloan didnt get an assist in 19 minutes vs. the Spurs. But that wasnt entirely his fault, as some open shots were missed off his passes. Plus, lets not kid ourselves: Opposing statisticians can be less-than-generous with things like assists and rebounds when scoring a visiting team.
This isnt to say Sloan is the next Jason Terry off the bench, but Sloan has been solid and worthy of a longer look. Hell get one on the Cavs summer team in July, and if all goes well, training camp in October.
Mostly, this should tell us that Cavs general manager Chris Grant and his scouting staff have an eye for D-League talent. Both Sloan and Hudson were plucked from the minors, and both have proven they have the ability to play at the NBA level. Makes me eager to see what might become of swingman D.J. Kennedy, the most recent call-up. He is also expected to be added to the Cavs summer roster.
Watching former Cavs shooting guard Danny Green (Spurs) and Shannon Brown (Suns) make me hope the Cavs dont give up on Manny Harris. Green and Brown did little with the Cavs, but are having decent success elsewhere. Like Harris, both were young players during their days in Cleveland. Both are also greatly improved since then.
That said, Harris is so-so ballhandler and too often fades back on his shot. If he ever hopes to stick in this league, hell have to work on both areas. But in the past three games, Harris is averaging 13.3 points (including 14 vs. the Spurs) and 6.3 rebounds, and shooting 47 percent from the field. Those numbers are definitely worth something, you would think.
The Cavs may have lost by 16 points, but coach Byron Scott said he congratulated the players after the game. Obviously, we want to win games, but just showing how hard they have been playing and not taking anything for granted. Youre playing against a team that has aspirations of winning a championship. They are one of the best teams in the league. We competed for 48 minutes and that's all you can ask.
Scott brings up a valid point, as the Cavs (21-42) have looked much better in their previous two games when it comes to effort. But even with a healthy Irving (19 points, 3 steals), they just dont have the manpower to beat a team like the Spurs on their own court.
Finally, Hudson has already played in one game for the Grizzlies -- going 0-for-3 from the floor in 10 scoreless minutes in a 93-89 win over the Trail Blazers.
Follow Sam Amico on Twitter @SamAmicoFSO