Samuels stars in starting line-up for Cavs

Samuels stars in starting line-up for Cavs

Written by Editor

Topics: Basketball, Sports

The mix of plaudits and apologies are coming fast and thick for Jamaican NBA player Samardo Samuels. The basketball pundits who initially described the Cleveland Cavaliers’ three-year, US$2.3 million signing of the undrafted power forward as a “headscratcher” are now retracting their statements after witnessing his recent performances as a member of the team’s starting line-up.

In his first three starts with the Cavaliers, the 22-year-old rookie from Trelawny averaged 16.3 points and 8.0 rebounds and shot 53 percent from the field. In his first game as a starter against the San Antonio Spurs, he scored a game and career-high 23 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. His reputation has since grown with each thunderous dunk, and at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks, he gave his rapidly rising stock a boost by drawing the game-winning charge against Carmelo Anthony for a rare Cavs win.

Samuels’ time in the spotlight follows a rough travail that started with his early exit from the University of Louisville after his sophomore year. He declared his eligibility for the NBA draft, but was disappointingly not selected by any team. However, his solid performance in the NBA summer league caught the attention of the Cavaliers.

Playing time was limited for Samuels, who had a two-game stint in the NBA Development League (D-League) with the Erie BayHawks before being recalled to the Cavs roster. An injury to Antawn Jamison has now afforded him the opportunity to start, enjoy more playing time and stake his claim as a legitimate big man in the NBA.

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