Eyebrows were raised as the Cleveland Cavaliers parted ways with the recently acquired Larry Sanders to make way for 7-foot-3 center Edy Tavares.
With the Cavs seemingly chasing Sanders for months, his quick departure left questions being asked about why he wasn’t the right fit for the Wine and Gold. Turns out, the Cavs soon came to the realization the former lottery pick was a long way away from significantly helping them in their championship aspirations, and Sanders himself struggled with punctuality on more than one occasion.
With question marks over the entire situation, even more mystery arose when the Cavs chose to replace Sanders with the athletic monster Tavares. Little was known about Tavares to begin with, but in his debut he gave a glimpse of what he could bring to the Cavaliers.
It’s safe to say he made his presence felt, and impressed in his debut as he registered six points and 10 rebounds in just 24 minutes of action on the first day with his new ball club. More impressively, Tavares was a colossal paint presence on the evening, altering numerous shots and blocking an extraordinary six shots. His six rejections weren’t just impressive in the box score, but Tavares also made Cavaliers history in doing so. He became the first player in a little under a decade to record six blocks in a game in franchise history.
The last Cavalier to achieve that feat was Cavs fan favorite Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who denied six shots all the way back on Nov. 16, 2007.
Tavares’ performance brought excitement to an uneventful contest, and the Cavs faithful saw something they haven’t seen since former big man Timofey Mozgov was in Cleveland – a genuine shot blocker.
Tavares may struggle to get minutes this postseason, but the signs are promising. He will be a handy addition to have potentially coming off the bench to protect the paint and anchor the defense when the Cavs are struggling to rebound or contest shots.
A smart acquisition by David Griffin and the Cavaliers, and he may be a factor in helping the Wine and Gold retain their title.