Now, I have a limited frame of reference, but I have been very impressed with the Virginia fans and their full-on assault of the Cleveland Cavalier fan-dwagon (bandwagon sounds too harsh...stick with me). As soon as this:
happened, the Wahoo faithful were as enthusiastic as the Harris family pup in celebrating Joey Buckets' ascension to the big leagues. Scores of fans searched for a place to pick up their very own Joe jersey, and I found myself googling opening day in Cleveland (road trip?!). Maybe it has to do with limited success in previous drafts, maybe it's that Virginia continues to put out players that the fan base legitimately cares about and wants to see excel beyond the shadows of the Lawn. Probably a bit of both. Regardless, Cleveland got themselves a helluva player, and a bunch of new followers.
Then, #LeBronWatch2014 came to a conclusion in a touching fashion with the Decision 2.0 culminating in a touching and thought out letter (if you haven't read it, I recommend it). Immediately, us true Cavaliers knew what was up.
Let's get this straight, I joined the Cavs bandwagon two weeks ago when they drafted joe harris— Matty Doughty (@mddoughty2) July 11, 2014
Only reason I'm excited about LBJ going back to Cleveland... Open shots for Joey Buckets— London (@London_Tyus) July 11, 2014
So, LeBron was seduced by the #swoon, and his hometown or something, but mostly the #swoon. With all that excitement out of the way, Cleveland dove into the NBA Summer League, opening to a hot 3-0 start and showcasing their number one draft pick, Andrew Wiggins. Last year's number one pick (which also went to the Cavs), Anthony Bennett, has vastly improved since his unimpressive rookie campaign and shows great potential to be Joe's new best friend, seeing as his name is Tony Bennett.
Harris sat out the first game of the Vegas Summer League with a 'tweaked' ankle, but played in the game against the Spurs on Sunday and against the 76ers last night. Joe struggled to find his shot against San Antonio, going 2-6 for four points and 0-3 from downtown land.
Against Philadelphia, Joe stroked his first three ball of his NBA career, and added another basket on a slick drive to the basket through the lane that we have all grown to know and love. Harris finished the game with six points, three rebounds, and an assist in just over 22 minutes of play.
The game seemed choppy for Harris, but his defense was on point all night. He hassled his player in one-on-one play, rarely (if ever) getting beaten, and provided good help defense. As a team, the Cavaliers only had six assists on 26 made baskets, so the ball movement is not what Virginia fans were used to seeing in Charlottesville, nor will they mirror what the Cavaliers will really look like during the season, should Joe make it that far. Having players like Kyrie Irving and LeBron James driving into the lane will provide more kick out options for Harris, giving him those 'room and rhythm' shots he is so good at.
Last, but certainly not least, Akil Mitchell has been putting in work for the Houston Rockets in summer action with 15 points, 24 rebounds, and three steals in six games. Against Detroit, Akil threw down this nasty dunk.
Stay tuned this summer for more updates on Akil and Joe, and as always, wahoowa.