Posts Tagged ‘Anderson Varejao’

SUNS AT CAVALIERS, 7 P.M. ET

TV: League Pass

  • Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao leads the NBA in rebounding with a 14.7 average and is working on a streak of five straight double-doubles. The mop-topped Brazilian is averaging 13.6 points and 17.6 rebounds during that span. “The way Anderson is rebounding the ball right now, the only comparison you can make is to (NBA all-time great) Dennis Rodman,” Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. “So many players assume every shot is going to be made, but he plays every shot like it’s going to be missed. That’s really why he’s such a great rebounder.”
  • Phoenix rallied from a 26-point deficit to beat Cleveland 107-105 at US Airways Center on Nov. 9. It was the third-largest comeback in Suns history, as well as the biggest blown lead by the Cavaliers since 1980 (when the NBA began tracking the statistic). “We definitely don’t want to be in a hole like that again, but it did allow us to show everyone what kind of a winning attitude we have,” Phoenix shooting guard Shannon Brown said.
  • The Suns’ lineup consists of Brown, point guard Goran Dragic, small forward Michael Beasley, power forward Markieff Morris, and center Marcin Gortat. Phoenix is 0-1 on its current six-game, 10-day road trip — its longest of the 2012-2013 season — and has a 1-5 overall record in away games.
  • Cleveland will start Varejao, power forward Tristan Thompson, small forward Alonzo Gee, shooting guard Dion Waiters, and point guard Jeremy Pargo. The Cavaliers have lost three straight games, all on the road, but are 2-2 at Quicken Loans Arena this season.
  • Inactive for the Suns are center Channing Frye (enlarged heart) and point guard Diante Garrett. Not in uniform for Cleveland are point guard Kyrie Irving (left index finger fracture) and power forward Luke Harangody (right knee surgery).
  • Reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Irving is not expected to return to action until mid-December, but he did work out and attempt many shots on the arena’s main court before the game. His broken finger remains in a splint and was heavily wrapped in blue tape.

– Brian Dulik

BULLS AT CAVALIERS, 7:30 P.M. ET

TV: League Pass

  • Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich is fully recovered from a strained groin and will not have his minutes monitored tonight, according to coach Tom Thibodeau. The nine-year veteran will be matched up defensively against NBA Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving. “Kirk is fine, so he’ll start on Kyrie,” Thibodeau said. “It’s not an easy assignment because Kyrie is a very good cutter and puts a lot of pressure on you in a lot of ways.”
  • The remainder of Chicago’s lineup is center Joakim Noah, power forward Carlos Boozer, small forward Luol Deng, and shooting guard Richard Hamilton. “We have two experienced passers in Joakim and Carlos, which we’ll try and take advantage of,” Thibodeau said. “The ball has to move and the body has to move (when we’re) passing in order for us to be successful right now.”
  • The Cavaliers will start Irving, center Anderson Varejao, power forward Tristan Thompson, small forward Alonzo Gee, and rookie shooting guard Dion Waiters. Cleveland and the Bulls have now played four times since Irving was drafted first overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, but he and Chicago point guard Derrick Rose have yet share the same court because of injuries.
  • Cavaliers coach Byron Scott plans on keeping his 10-man rotation that includes a second unit of rookie Tyler Zeller at center, Luke Walton at power forward, C.J. Miles at small forward, Daniel Gibson at shooting guard, and Donald Sloan at point guard. “We’re gonna give it a go with those guys for a week or so,” Scott said. “If we have to make some changes at that point, then we will.”
  • Chicago and Cleveland are both 1-0. The Bulls beat Sacramento 93-87 on Halloween, while the Cavaliers topped the Wizards 94-84 in the opening game of the 2012-2013 NBA season on Tuesday.
  • Rose (left knee reconstructive surgery) remains out indefinitely for Chicago, while Cleveland’s inactives are point guard Jeremy Pargo and power forward Luke Harangody.
  • The Bulls have won eight straight games over the Cavaliers, including all three meetings last season.

– Brian Dulik

HAWKS AT CAVALIERS, 3 P.M. ET

TV: League Pass

  • The Hawks are only dressing 10 players because of injuries to center Al Horford (left pectoral surgery), power forwards Marvin Williams (hip flexor) and Vladimir Radmanovic (back), shooting guard Willie Green (hamstring), and point guard Jannero Pargo (stomach virus). Center Jason Collins, who missed the previous 21 games with a sprained left elbow, will return to action. “I hope I can give Jason some minutes, but we’ll see how the game goes,” Atlanta coach Larry Drew said.
  • The Hawks’ starting lineup is point guard Jeff Teague, shooting guard Kirk Hinrich, small forward Joe Johnson, power forward Josh Smith, and center Zaza Pachulia. With the Hawks playing Monday against Boston, Drew said he will monitor Johnson’s court time as the 10-year veteran has battled left knee tendinitis of late. “I’ll certainly keep an eye on Joe because I know I can’t pile the minutes on him with the schedule we have coming up,” the coach said.
  • Cavaliers rookie Tristan Thompson will make his first NBA start, playing center, instead of his natural power forward spot. Ryan Hollins had gotten the nod in the previous seven games, but Cleveland coach Byron Scott said it was time “to get Tristan a good feel for the guys he’ll be going against like Zaza today.” Thompson — the No. 4 overall selection in the NBA Draft — is the second-leading rebounder (5.7) and third-leading shot blocker (1.11) among rookies.
  • The remainder of the Cavaliers’ first five is point guard Kyrie Irving, shooting guard Anthony Parker, small forward Alonzo Gee, and power forward Antawn Jamison. Scott said he plans on keeping that unit intact until center Anderson Varejao (right wrist fracture) is cleared to play. Varejao, who has been sidelined since Feb. 11, will be evaluated by the team’s medical staff this week. “Until Andy comes back, I’m going to start Tristan,” the coach said.
  • Cleveland point guard Donald Sloan, who was signed by the team Friday, appeared in five games with the Hawks earlier this season. Small forward Luke Walton — acquired Thursday in a trade with the Lakers — also is dressing for his first contest with the Cavaliers. Scott said he doesn’t plan on using either player against Atlanta, but added that Sloan is “farther along than Luke in terms of understanding our system.”
  • The Hawks lead the all-time series 107-93, but Cleveland holds a 59-43 edge at home. The Cavaliers have played more games against Atlanta than any other team since joining the NBA in 1970.

– Brian Dulik