HORNETS AT CAVALIERS, 8 P.M. ET
February 20, 2013 · 7:11PM
- Hornets shooting guard Eric Gordon (right knee soreness) will not play for precautionary reasons as New Orleans is on the second half of a back-to-back game set. The fifth-year pro scored 20 points Tuesday in a 96-87 loss to Chicago, but is not being permitted to play on consecutive days on orders of the Hornets’ medical staff. “I wish that (policy) was over, but we don’t see it ending anytime soon,” New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. “For whatever reason, the doctors feel that’s best for Eric. But he’s healthy, so it’s tough.” Williams added that Gordon’s sprained right hand is fully healed.
- With Gordon out, New Orleans is starting rookie Austin Rivers at the two. Rivers was named after Cavaliers broadcaster — and former Cleveland All-Star — Austin Carr, but the two had never met until this evening. “I just went out and introduced myself to him, which was incredible,” Rivers said. “It was an honor and very exciting, knowing my dad (Celtics coach Doc Rivers) chose his name for me because he looked up to him so much. It’s unbelievable knowing that I’ll be playing in front of him tonight.”
- The Cavaliers are making their only national television appearance of the season. ESPN originally scheduled the Miami at Atlanta game for the 8 p.m. broadcast window, but dropped it in favor of the first pro matchup between the last two No. 1 overall draft picks: Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving (2012) and New Orleans power forward Anthony Davis (2013). “We want to show the world what we can do,” Irving said.
- Irving shined brightly on all three days of All-Star weekend in Houston. The reigning Rookie of the Year won the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, and played very well in the NBA All-Star Game and BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. “I’m still trying to catch up on my sleep, but I’m ready to get back out there tonight,” said Irving, who ranks sixth in the league with a 23.5 scoring average.
- The Hornets’ starters are point guard Greivis Vasquez, Rivers, small forward Al-Farouq Aminu, Davis, and center Robin Lopez. The Cavaliers’ lineup is Irving, shooting guard Dion Waiters, small forward Alonzo Gee, power forward Tristan Thompson, and center Tyler Zeller. New Orleans won the teams’ last meeting, 89-84 on Feb. 22, 2012 in Cleveland.
- The NBA trade deadline is Thursday at 4 p.m. Cavaliers center Marreese Speights is among the prime candidates to be dealt as he can opt out of his contract at the end of the season. “Mo Speights has always been a bit of a wildcard, especially when he’s knocking down his jump shots,” Williams said. “He can be a physical presence, as well.”
- Cavaliers coach Byron Scott plans to fly to Los Angeles for the funeral of Lakers owner Jerry Buss. Lead assistant coach Paul Pressey will run Cleveland’s practice on Thursday.
– Brian Dulik
BOBCATS AT CAVALIERS, 7 P.M. ET
February 6, 2013 · 6:22PM
TV: League Pass
- Bobcats small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (concussion) traveled to Cleveland but will miss his second straight game. The No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft was injured Saturday when he took a scary fall at Houston. “Mike’s head is clear and all of his (physical) signs are a plus,” Charlotte coach Mike Dunlap said. “He said everything feels substantially better — he’s still very sore — but he’s certainly not ready to play tonight.” Fellow rookie Jeffery Taylor starts in his spot.
- The Bobcats’ lineup is point guard Kemba Walker, shooting guard Gerald Henderson, Taylor, power forward Jeff Adrien, and center Bismack Biyombo. Charlotte is 0-4 on its current five-game, 10-day road trip. “We have a lot of respect for Charlotte because they play hard and Mike’s doing a nice job with them, but offensively, if we run our plays and execute tonight, we’ll be fine,” Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said. “I am worried about our defense, though.”
- Cleveland shooting guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson is active for the first time since spraining his right big toe on Jan. 26 at Toronto. Gibson, who has spent his entire seven-year career with the Cavaliers, ranks 14th in NBA history with a .413 3-point percentage. Also active is power forward Luke Walton, who has not played since Jan. 25 against Milwaukee because of personal reasons, and left foot and ankle soreness.
- Cleveland’s starters are point guard Kyrie Irving, shooting guard Dion Waiters, small forward Alonzo Gee, power forward Tristan Thompson, and center Tyler Zeller. The Cavaliers have won four of their last five home games, including a 115-110 upset of Oklahoma City on Saturday. “It’s like I told the guys this morning, we have to be afraid of losing, especially in our building,” Scott said.
- Inactive for Cleveland are center Anderson Varejao (season-ending right knee surgery) and point guard Josh Selby (NBA D-League assignment with Canton Charge). Varejao was in the Cavaliers locker room before the game and said he remains on blood thinners, even though the post-surgical blood clots in his lungs have dissipated.
- The Bobcats are 1-13 all-time at Quicken Loans Arena, which is the worst record by a visiting team. They also are 4-31 since Nov. 26 after opening the season with seven wins in their first 12 games.
– Brian Dulik
MAVERICKS AT CAVALIERS, 7:30 P.M. ET
November 17, 2012 · 7:04PM
TV: League Pass
- Cavaliers center Tyler Zeller (left orbital bone fracture) is in uniform for the first time since being injured on Nov. 5 at the Clippers. The rookie from North Carolina was elbowed in the face by Los Angeles center DeAndre Jordan, suffering a concussion that caused him to miss Cleveland’s last four games. “Tyler coming back will shore up our bench, but I’m just hoping this injury doesn’t set him back because he was playing well,” Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said. Zeller was fitted with a protective face mask and will wear it for the forseeable future.
- Mavericks small forward Shawn Marion will make his second straight start after sitting out five games with a sprained left medial collateral ligament. Marion had two points and seven rebounds Friday at Indiana, where Dallas was blown out 103-83. “We’ve just got to flush (that game) and get ready for tonight,” said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, whose squad is 1-4 since Nov. 9 and has slipped to .500 on the season.
- The remainder of Dallas’ lineup is center Chris Kaman, power forward Elton Brand, shooting guard O.J. Mayo, and point guard Darren Collison. Cleveland will start point guard Kyrie Irving, shooting guard Dion Waiters, small forward Alonzo Gee, power forward Tristan Thompson, and center Anderson Varejao.
- The Cavaliers return home after going 1-5 on their season-long, 11-day road trip. Scott said he will continue using a nine-man rotation, but would not reveal which four players will come off the bench against the Mavericks. “We’re going to change it a tad tonight,” the coach said. “I’m patient, but I’m not patient. Stay tuned.”
- Dallas’ inactives were power forward Dirk Nowitzki (right knee surgery) and guard Jared Cunningham. Cleveland did not dress power forward Luke Harangody (right knee surgery) and power forward Jon Leuer. Harangody underwent an arthroscopic procedure Friday and is expected to be sidelined until late December.
– Brian Dulik
HORNETS AT CAVALIERS, 7 P.M. ET
February 22, 2012 · 6:13PM
TV: League Pass
- Cavaliers shooting guard Anthony Parker (lower back strain) is inactive for the 12th straight game, but might return to action immediately after the NBA All-Star break. “I don’t see any reason to have him play tonight — even if he could — with us having four days off after this game,” Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. Daniel “Boobie” Gibson will make his seventh start of the season in Parker’s spot, joining point guard Kyrie Irving, small forward Omri Casspi, power forward Antawn Jamison, and center Semih Erden in the lineup.
- Hornets center Emeka Okafor (left knee soreness) and power forward Jason Smith (concussion) could be back on the court when the team resumes play Tuesday in Chicago, according to New Orleans coach Monty Williams. No timetable has been set for power forward Carl Landry (left knee sprain) and point guard Eric Gordon (right knee contusion) to return. “There is a chance Jason could be back then, and maybe Emeka, but Carl’s situation is a little bit different,” the coach said.
- Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao (right wrist fracture) continues to work out each day with his teammates, but is still 3-5 weeks away from being cleared for action. Varejao was having the best season of his career before he was injured against Milwaukee on Feb. 10, averaging 10.8 points and 11.5 rebounds while shooting .514 from the floor. “Andy is coming along and doing cardio every day,” Scott said. “Looking at the schedule, he could be back for our last 20-25 games.”
- The Hornets will start center Chris Kaman, power forward Gustavo Ayon, small forward Trevor Ariza, shooting guard Marco Belinelli, and point guard Greivis Vasquez. Kaman is averaging 11.2 points and 7.3 rebounds on the season after being acquired from the Clippers in the Chris Paul trade. “Chris has been decent,” Williams said. “But defensively, that’s where he has to understand what we do.”
- New Orleans guard Donald Sloan and forward Lance Thomas are on their second 10-day contracts with the team, while power forward Solomon Jones will have his first such pact expire Friday. “Unfortunately, we probably won’t keep all of them, but they’ve all given themselves a chance to come back or maybe come to training camp down the road,” Williams said.
- New Orleans is completing a three-games-in-three-nights set after losing Monday at Oklahoma City (101-93) and Tuesday at Indiana (117-108 in overtime). “This is the ultimate test of how much you love the game,” Williams said. “It’s like I tell the guys, ‘You’re playing a game. It’s really cool to get to do this for a living. Always remember that.'”
- The Cavaliers are seeking their first three-game winning streak since Nov. 5-9, 2010. They enter the evening 1 1/2 games behind Boston in the race for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
– Brian Dulik
KINGS AT CAVALIERS, 6 P.M. ET
February 19, 2012 · 5:19PM
TV: League Pass
- Cavaliers shooting guards Daniel “Boobie” Gibson (left ankle sprain) and Anthony Parker (lower back strain) remain out, making Alonzo Gee the starter for a third straight game. Cleveland coach Byron Scott said Gibson has a 50-50 chance of returning before the NBA All-Star break, while Parker’s status will be updated Monday. Center Anderson Varejao (right wrist fracture) is also inactive and expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks. “We’ll have the same guys tonight that we’ve been going with,” Scott said.
- Kings power forward J.J. Hickson spent his first three pro seasons with the Cavaliers before being traded last summer for small forward Omri Casspi. Hickson, who was the 19th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, will be a free agent following this season. “I’m not having the year I wanted to have, not personally and not winning,” said Hickson, who is averaging 5.2 points and 5.4 rebounds for Sacramento. “But (earning a new contract) is gonna take care of itself.”
- The Kings rank last in the league in field goal percentage (.409) and in points allowed (101.6), which is a combination that makes Scott nervous, even though the Cavaliers own the NBA’s second-best rebounding percentage (.520). “Because they’re only shooting 40 percent from the floor, there will be lots of opportunities for second-chance points,” the coach explained. “We’ve got to prevent that tonight from happening on the boards.”
- The Kings will start point guard Isaiah Thomas, shooting guard Marcus Thornton, small forward Tyreke Evans, power forward Jason Thompson, and center DeMarcus Cousins. Sacramento coach Keith Smart, who began his NBA head coaching career with the Cavaliers in 2003, reported no injuries on his 14-man roster. Rookie forward Tyler Honeycutt is the Kings’ lone inactive.
- Cleveland’s starting lineup includes point guard Kyrie Irving, power forward Antawn Jamison, center Semih Erden, Casspi, and Gee. Casspi also has struggled in his new surroundings, shooting just .418 from the floor and .596 from the foul line while starting all 28 games. “I think Omri is progressing nicely, but it’s coming slower than we expected and slower than he wants,” Scott said.
- Cleveland is 2-3 on its franchise-record long nine-game homestand, while Sacramento is 0-3 on its six-game road trip.
– Brian Dulik
PACERS AT CAVALIERS, 7:30 P.M. ET
February 15, 2012 · 6:52PM
TV: League Pass
- Pacers small forward Danny Granger (left ankle sprain) will not play after being hurt Tuesday in a 105-90 home loss to Miami. “Our trainers were not optimistic, but he wanted to go to go out and give it a shot (during pregame warmups),” Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. Veteran Dahntay Jones makes his second start of the season in Granger’s spot. Vogel also said that power forward Tyler Hansbrough (strep throat) is active.
- Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (concussion) returns to action after missing three games. The No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft was injured on Feb. 7 in Miami when he was accidentally kneed in the head by Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade. Cleveland coach Byron Scott said he plans on limiting the rookie to 30-34 minutes, but added, “There are no restrictions on Kyrie. He’s a full-go now that he’s back.”
- With Irving medically cleared to play, point guard Ramon Sessions returns to backup duties for the Cavaliers. Sessions averaged 18.3 points and 12.3 assists over the last three contests, leading Cleveland to a 1-2 record while boosting his potential trade value. “Ramon has been fantastic,” Scott said. “His experience definitely helps in situations like this when we call on him.”
- Indiana center Jeff Foster (sore lower back) and point guard George Hill (left ankle chip fracture) are out, as are Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao (right wrist fracture) and shooting guard Anthony Parker (lower back strain). Center Semih Erden and shooting guard Daniel Gibson continue to fill in for the latter duo in Cleveland’s starting lineup.
- The Pacers have lost four straight — dropping them into sixth place in the Eastern Conference — and are in the middle of a three-games-in-three-days stretch. “The schedule gives you gifts, and the schedule screws you sometimes,” Vogel quipped.
– Brian Dulik
WARRIORS AT CAVALIERS, 7 P.M. ET
January 17, 2012 · 6:18PM
TV: League Pass
- Cavaliers shooting guard Anthony Parker (sore lower back) will not play, elevating Daniel “Boobie” Gibson to the starting lineup. Cleveland coach Byron Scott said Parker’s status will be re-evaluated on Thursday, but he plans to “take it slow” with the 36-year-old, who was injured Monday against Charlotte.
- Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle) and center Kwame Brown (torn pectoral) are inactive. Golden State will start center Andris Biedrins, power forward David Lee, small forward Dorell Wright, shooting guard Monta Ellis, and point guard Charles Jenkins.
- The Cavaliers had started the same lineup in their first 12 games with Parker, center Anderson Varejao, power forward Antawn Jamison, small forward Omri Casspi, and point guard Kyrie Irving. With Parker sidelined, Scott said he would use a three-man rotation of Irving, Gibson, and Ramon Sessions in the backcourt.
- Cleveland’s backup center spot remains unsettled. Semih Erden, Samardo Samuels, and power forward Tristan Thompson have all gotten minutes of late, but Scott said he is “still trying to work out some kinks there.”
- Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who ranks third in NBA history with 10,334 assists, is a big fan of top overall draft pick Irving. “He’s a heck of a player and a great kid who really has the goods and is playing with extreme confidence,” Jackson said. “He’s going to be a top-notch point guard in this league for a long time.”
- The Cavaliers, who have played an NBA-low three home games, went 3-4 on their just concluded two-week road trip.
– Brian Dulik