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It's almost easy to forget about Bennett and the limited contributions he made this season.
The first overall pick in the 2013 draft hasn't played since March 8 since going down with a patellar strain in his left knee. In his 51 games, Bennett is averaging 4.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.3 assists on 35.2 percent shooting.
Clearly, it wasn't the type of year Bennett or the Cavaliers were hoping for.
The main problems for Bennett this season were his conditioning, shot selection and confidence. While Bennett dropped weight and worked himself back into playing shape, the Cavs did a poor job of helping him succeed in the other two areas.
The Cavaliers initially made Bennett a power forward, which was absolutely the right move. Starting the season at 6'8" and nearly 260 pounds, Bennett was nowhere near nimble enough to play out on the wing.
Even though he began to improve at power forward, head coach Mike Brown decided to move Bennett to small forward in December. This was a terrible idea, as it only gave the overwhelmed rookie a whole new playbook to study. Bennett never played the 3 in college. Or high school. Or middle school. Or, well, ever.
“There’s still a lot I have to learn,” Bennett told Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. “It’s the first time playing the ‘3’ in my life. It’s a huge adjustment for me.”
Not surprisingly, Bennett was awful while on the wing. 82games.com lists his PER as a small forward at .0, while defensively allowing a PER of 25.2 to his counterparts at the position. Bennett was moved back to power forward again after spending just a few weeks playing the wing.
Bennett often looked lost, confused and completely lacking confidence while on the court. Instead of sending him to the D-League where he could have improved his conditioning, game speed and confidence by playing against inferior competition, Brown opted to completely remove Bennett from the rotation.
From January 14-28, Bennett played a total of five minutes in seven games.
Bennett himself clearly has a lot of work to do, but the Cavaliers could have handled his development this season much better.