Canadians in NBA: Tough Night on Defence, Bennett and Olynyk Foul out

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Courtesy: Dave Manning / USA Today

Courtesy: Dave Manning / USA Today

From Tuesday, October 16, we look at a few NBA pre-season games to see how some of the young Canadians fared as we gear up for the 2013-2014 regular season.

Tristan Thompson & Anthony Bennett

The Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Charlotte Bobcats 92-74 in pre-season action.  Tristan Thompson started for the Cavs, but was uncharacteristically ineffective.  The Brampton, Ont. native was given a significant chunk of time on the court (24:52), but only managed to score four points on 2-5 shooting. Thompson grabbed four rebounds while also turning the ball over four times.

Anthony Bennett came off the bench, playing just under 20 minutes in Tuesday’s loss to the Bobcats. Bennett scored seven points on 2-6 shooting. The two shots he hit were three-pointers, taking a total of three shots from behind the arc. Bennett did struggle on the defensive end, allowing four turnovers before fouling out in the second half.

Kelly Olynyk 

Like Bennett, The Gonzaga product also struggled on defense, fouling out as the Boston Celtics lost 82-80 to the Brooklyn Nets. Kelly Olynyk was often outmatched by the Nets bigs, which is normal for any rookie big learning to apply their trade in the NBA. In 19:50 minutes on the court, the Kamloops, B.C. native scored 10 points, grabbed four boards while also dishing out two assists.

 

Defensive Struggles

 

Both Bennett & Olynyk can produce in a variety of areas, however the rookie obstacles will primarily be on the defensive end. Both Canadians will need to increase their quickness, foot speed and adjust to the physicality of the NBA in order to avoid foul trouble in the long-term future. Both players exited the game in the less than 25 minutes of playing time. As mentioned, the first-round draft picks are undoubtedly talented, but they’ll have to remain in the game if they are to be effective.

Robert Sacre

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors played their Tuesday pre-season game in Beijing, China.  The Warriors came out victorious 100-95. Robert Sacre played a minimal role in the game, scoring two points on 1-4 shooting.

Looking ahead

On Wednesday, October 17, North Pole Hoops will take a look once again at Kelly Olynyk as the Celtics face-off against the Toronto Raptors. NPH National Scout Tariq Sbiet (@Tariq_NPH) will be live at the Air Canada Centre, checking up on Olynyk and the Raptors.

The Orlando Magic will tip off against Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets.  Canadians Andrew Nicholson and Kris Joseph are expected to suit up as well.

 

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