At least Anthony Bennett is honest.
The overall No. 1 pick from last summer's NBA draft is struggling, and that's putting it nicely. In 10.5 minutes per game, Bennett is currently averaging 2.4 points on 27.7 percent shooting after getting off to a historically bad start.
But the NBA is a learning process, and Bennett refuses to write himself off.
"I’m still clueless about this whole thing," Bennett said, via the Akron Beacon Journal's Jason Lloyd. "I’m still trying to learn a lot. I can still learn from my teammates, from the coaching staff, watching film. I just feel like this whole league is all about learning, just going out and playing."
That's the spirit.
No, seriously, that's the spirit.
Remaining upbeat, even rational, in these situations can be difficult. Think back to any long-spanning controversy you ever faced. There was probably a time when your morale was down, you wanted to blame someone else or just didn't feel like you were getting a fair shake. Credit Bennett for maintaining his composure, even if only publicly.
Also, it seems Bennett will finally receive his "fair shake."
In the wake of Andrew Bynum's indefinite suspension, first reported by Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears and Adrian Wojnarowski, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown has indicated Bennett will receive more playing time.
"I have to continue trying to have patience with him," Brown said, per Lloyd. "This is an opportunity for him to go out and play some minutes and show what he’s capable of doing."
It most certainly is.
Crack jokes all you want, but Bennett hasn't been given ample playing time. He's logged 15 or more minutes just five times through 24 appearances, hardly a large enough sample size to pen his obituary.
That's not to say he's earned more playing time, because statistically, he hasn't. Bennett hasn't produced in his short bursts, and despite being 10-20, the Cavs are fighting for a playoff spot in the atrocious Eastern Conference. The best players—the more experienced players—are going to see more time in important situations.
Out of necessity, the status quo in Cleveland has changed. Bynum has likely played his last game in a Cavs uniform, forcing Cleveland to place more responsibility on Bennett's shoulders, whether he's ready or not. But more exposure could be a good thing.
It could be a great thing.
"It's very early, but right now, he's looking like the worst [No. 1 pick] in the past 20 years," ESPN's Chad Ford wrote of Bennett in an email to The Plain Dealer's Jodie Valade.
Like he said, it's still very early.
More playing time in hand, Bennett now has a legitimate opportunity to prove Ford and, let's face it, all of us wrong.
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