Emoni Bates was at it again for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night.
The 19-year-old incoming rookie scored 12 points and 4 rebounds in the fourth quarter of the team’s tough preseason loss to the Orlando Magic.
He went 4-for-8 from the field and 3-from-6 from the three-point line.
It was yet another strong preseason performance from Bates, who spoke to the press after the game.
“It’s a chance for me, it’s an opportunity for me right now. I’m not really taking it lightly,” Bates told Bally Sports Cleveland.
He continued: “For me, it’s really like a chance to show my game…for me, I’m just treating it like a real game, like we’re in the season right now.”
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) October 13, 2023
Bates definitely has been one of the standouts of these preseason games.
He has played like a man looking to prove himself and earn a permanent, long-term spot on the roster.
There is a good chance that the rookie could see serious minutes in the season ahead if he continues to perform like this.
But following the defeat on Thursday, Bates opened up about where his team is at.
He was frank about what they needed to improve.
“We all got some work to do,” Bates said.
He added: “Mentally, I feel like we kind are kind of taking the preseason lightly right now.”
There are many teams that don’t take the preseason as seriously as the regular season and it’s been that way forever.
But Bates isn’t buying into that.
Both for his future and the future of the team, he wants the Cavaliers to work just as hard during preseason as they do the rest of the year.