“I love to be on the floor whenever I get to play. We had a different line-up on the court and we were doing some different things.”
The 25-year-old has returned to Cleveland in top condition and his performance on Tuesday has coach JB Bickerstaff preparing to use Exum as the team’s back-up point guard.
“I would say yes, up to this point, I think he’s earned that for sure,” Bickerstaff said on Tuesday.
Exum wants to do all he can to help the Cavaliers rise up the standings, so far they are 2-0 in their pre-season games.
“Last season was that I was traded, I was coming into what you would call a bit of a mess – so it was important to have a good off-season and come into training camp strong and have an impact,” Exum said.
“That’s the main thing I want to do. If I have an impact every night then I’m doing my job.”
Bickerstaff said Exum gave the side added speed and versatility but they need to lower their turnover count.
“We talked about him being a two-way player. We talked about him putting pressure on the rim. I think we saw that tonight,” Bickerstaff said.
“Defensively being active, getting deflections, being versatile on that end, able to guard multiple positions. But for us, offensively, he brings pace to the game. Dante is really fast. With his size, he’s long and able to finish in traffic. He brings us a versatility that allows us to do other things with our guards.”
Green showed further proof he could play meaningful minutes for the Dallas Mavericks this season with the Sydney-raised guard scoring 10 points in 18 minutes in his club’s 109-95 win over the highly-rated Milwaukee Bucks in Milwaukee.
Green’s defensive skills stood out before the draft but his shooting touch has proven to be better than expected as he knocked two of his four attempts from outside.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle praised Green for his preparedness for the NBA despite having only completed one season of college.
“He doesn’t say nothing, he just plays hard,” Carlisle said.
“He’s got a great background of fundamentals, he’s had terrific coaching and he understands the reads of the game beyond his years.
“He gets things the first time. He’s been terrific, he’s not going to put up gaudy stats but he’s going to do the basics extremely well and he will be a guy who fights people defensively.”
Rio Olympian Ryan Broekhoff is looking for a new NBA team after being waived by the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.
Roy Ward is a Sports writer for The Age.