The Cleveland Cavaliers' Gold Team topped their Wine counterpart by an unofficial score of 58-56 on Monday night -- not that there's much significance to be found in the outcome of a game like the Wine & Gold Scrimmage.
The Cavs' annual intrasquad scrimmage featured a running clock and in at least one player's case, a rotating roster in a contest that came to an abrupt end before the end of the third quarter.
But while the exhibition may have been impossible -- or more accurately, meaningless -- to evaluate from a scoring standpoint, the contest did provide fans with their first opportunity to witness the new-look Cavs. And even with LeBron James sitting out the game with an ankle injury, it was interesting to see how some of the pieces on the team are beginning to fit with the start of the season nearly two weeks away.
What follows are five observations from the Wine & Gold Scrimmage on Monday night.
Way of Wade
Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue was unwilling to commit to a starting lineup following the scrimmage, but less than a week after signing with the Cavs, Dwyane Wade's role is beginning to emerge.
Although Wade started the game as a member of the Wine Squad -- which was comprised of Cleveland's primary starters -- that appeared to be a function of James' absence. Rather, it seems as though Wade will serve as the Cavs' second-team point guard, with J.R. Smith maintaining his role of shooting guard in the Cavs' starting lineup.
After beginning the game with the Wine team, Wade switched to the Gold unit -- a sign that Lue wants to get the 12-time All-Star accustomed to playing alongside the team's reserves. Wade, for his part, looked strong in the role, dishing out no fewer than five assists on Cleveland's second-team.
Although Lue has yet to make it official, at this point, it'd be a surprise if Wade didn't begin the season in a reserve role. And if his performance on Monday night is any indication, that's just one sign of how deep this Cavs team truly is.
Fitting out(side the arc)
One lineup change Lue was willing to commit to on Monday was the shifting of Kevin Love to center, in a move that sends former starter Tristan Thompson to the bench. That will allow Cleveland to start forward Jae Crowder, who the Cavs acquired from the Boston Celtics in the Kyrie Irving deal this offseason.
There are several factors that went into Lue's new frontcourt formation, the primary of which is the spacing Love and Crowder can simultaneously provide. That was apparent on Monday, with the duo combining to launch several 3-point attempts throughout the scrimmage.
Another bonus is that thanks to Crowder's defensive prowess and versatility on the wing, James will no longer be tasked with defending opponents' top offensive players. That will allow James to fill more of a "free safety" role, in which he can help exploit mismatches by jumping passing lanes.
It also bolsters the team's bench with the addition of Thompson, who said after the scrimmage that he's onboard with the move.
"The last time I came off the bench, if history repeats itself, we had a parade in June," Thompson said of his part-time reserve role in the 2015-16 season. "So, I'll take it."
Smelling like Roses
When it comes to Derrick Rose's time with the Cavs, so far, it's been so good.
Serving as the starting point guard on the Wine team, the former MVP looked spry and lived up the lofty praise his new teammates have showered upon the 28-year-old thus far. In particular, Rose looked a lot like his former self on a play just prior to halftime, when he drove the lane and utilized a 'eurostep' to beat the buzzer for a basket.
After the game, Lue praised Rose's ability as a playmaker -- both as a scorer and a passer. So long as he can stay healthy, the Cavs' point guard position appears to be in good hands while Isaiah Thomas recovers from his injured hip.
Deep in the Q
Although there's only so much one can evaluate about the Cavs without James on the court, the team's playing style doesn't seem to have changed much without Irving. At least not on the offensive side of the floor, where Cleveland still appears to favor a long-distance approach.
Regardless of whether it was as a member of the Wine or Gold team, very few players on the Cavs' roster seem shy to shoot the three. And with James soon to return to the lineup, their looks from long-distance should only be more open -- and come more often.
Of course, it will be interesting to see how both Rose and Wade -- neither traditional sharpshooters -- factor into the team's philosophy. But through at least one intrasquad scrimmage, Cleveland doesn't appear willing to let its change in personnel shift its offensive identity.
Depth -- and lots of it
It goes without saying, but the Cavs are as deep as they've ever been.
Assuming their starting lineup features Thompson, Jeff Green, Kyle Korver, Iman Shumpert and Wade as expected, all five of the team's primary backups will possess extensive starting experience.
Add that to a starting unit with no shortage of versatility and firepower and Cleveland could be in for a fun season.
Did the Cavs get better after the Irving trade? That remains to be seen. But at the very least, Cleveland will be one of the NBA's more fascinating teams to watch -- regardless of who's on the court.