The Cleveland Cavaliers have played four games in the first week of the NBA season, but Anthony Bennett has yet to register a single basket. He's 0-for-15 from the floor thus far, including an 0-for-3 performance on Monday in Cleveland's narrow victory over the previously undefeated Timberwolves.
The top overall draft pick in the 2013 draft has scored just two points — he's 2-of-4 from the line — and he said it's been a frustrating process for him. But with 78 games remaining there's plenty of time to get his head straight.
This from Bennett on Sunday via the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
"I just feel like there's a lid on the basket. Three games and no shots went in, but I just have to keep working.
Everybody is saying [to] keep my head up. First year in the league, it's going to be difficult. My teammates are also telling me to keep my head up. It's frustrating at times, but you just have to get the mental part down. I've got 79 games to go."
And Bennett isn't just firing away from long-range. The small forward has missed all seven of his three-point attempts, but he has also misfired on all five of his shot attempts from less than 10 feet away, and he's been off on each of his three mid-range jumpers, according to NBA.com. Also, this happened against the Timberwolves:
Cavs coach Mike Brown said Bennett's early struggles are probably a result of the expectations he's set for himself as the top pick.
"He's probably putting more pressure on himself than we are as a coaching staff and his teammates are. He's the No. 1 pick in the draft, he should put pressure on himself. He should want to go out there and succeed for himself and his family, the organization and city. He's a talented player. We all saw glimpses of it in the preseason. In time it'll come, it'll show that it's there."
Cleveland surprised the basketball world by taking Bennett with the top pick in the draft, and the results haven't come thus far. Through four games, Bennett's two points are the lowest scoring total for any No. 1 overall draft pick since 1966. But there is plenty of time, and this is probably more of a freak scenario than anything else. Bennett is averaging a little more than 12 minutes per game, so he's bound to find a good look at the basket soon.
The Cavs currently reside at the bottom of the league in terms of offensive efficiency at 87.5 points per 100 possessions, so any spark from Bennett would be huge for the hopeful playoff team in Cleveland.
All stats via NBA.com.