Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland Cavaliers’

CAVS at PACERS, 7 P.M. ET

TV: LEAGUE PASS

  • George Hill will sit out tonight’s game with a sore left hip. The injury occurred during the Pacers’ 95-90 victory in New Orleans Wednesday night. He left the game briefly after feeling some pain but returned and hit a big 3-pointer down the stretch to help complete a comeback. But the soreness increased Thursday and he missed practice Friday. Indiana Coach Frank Vogel said he hopes Hill will be back Tuesday in Detroit.
  • Veteran C.J. Watson will start at the point, with Donald Sloan the backup. “George really guards Kyrie (Irving) well so it changes things a little bit,” Vogel said, “but we believe in C.J.’s ability to guard, too. And Donald. Those guys are both tough defenders.”
  • One week into his projected three-week absence due to a left calf strain, Danny Granger’s timeline remains unchanged. Vogel said the veteran small forward is able to do light shooting and job through dummy offensive sets but is not yet able to practice.
  • Kyrie Irving will be back in the starting lineup after banging his elbow on the floor, causing his arm to go temporarily numb, in the third quarter of the 90-84 loss in Charlotte Friday night. Postgame X-rays were negative.
  • The schedule-maker gave Mike Brown a special treat, as the Cavs head coach was able to see one of his son’s first college games. Elijah Brown is a freshman at Butler University, which played an exhibition against DePauw Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse, about a 20-minute trip from downtown Indianapolis. “They won, first of all, and he played well, had 18 or 20 coming off the bench,” Brown said with a broad smile. “I don’t know what they’re doing schematically but it looks like he’s trying to defend, which is a good thing because he never did it in high school. At least he’s trying and he’s in his stance half of the time. To be in Hinkle Fieldhouse to watch my son, that was unbelievable.”
  • Andrew Bynum totaled 18:20, eight points and six rebounds in Cleveland’s first two games but will not play tonight in the second game of a back-to-back as the Cavs bring him back methodically from multiple knee problems. Brown said Bynum isn’t necessarily restricted from playing on consecutive nights. “It’s going to be a game-by-game basis,” he said, “but he is not playing tonight.”

- Conrad Brunner

SPURS AT CAVALIERS, 7 P.M. ET

TV: League Pass

  • Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (left knee soreness), point guard Tony Parker (right knee bruise), and shooting guard Manu Ginobili (left hamstring tightness) all return to action tonight. San Antonio’s “Big Three” sat out its 103-89 win Monday in Chicago, but will play in the Spurs’ final game before the NBA All-Star break. Duncan and Parker are starting, while Ginobili resumes his role as their sixth man. “Everything will be back to normal for us,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.
  • Spurs center Tiago Splitter (left ankle) also will start after twisting his ankle against the Bulls, but small forward Stephen Jackson (personal reasons) is not with the team for the second straight game. “Tiago is going to give it a shot tonight, but we’ll see what happens,” Popovich said. Small forward Kawhi Leonard and shooting guard Danny Green round out San Antonio’s first five.
  • Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (left ankle) is in the lineup two days after landing awkwardly on the foot of Timberwolves point guard Alexey Shved. The NBA All-Star has the sixth-highest scoring average in the league at 23.9 points. Center Tyler Zeller, power forward Tristan Thompson, small forward Alonzo Gee, and shooting guard Dion Waiters join Irving as starters.
  • The Spurs are 3-1 on their annual nine-game, 19-day Rodeo Road Trip. San Antonio owns the best record in the league at 41-12 and has won five straight over Cleveland — all in the post-LeBron James era for the wine and gold. “I expect the Cavs to have (foam) coming out of their mouths and the veins popping when they come out of the tunnel tonight,” Popovich joked.
  • The Cavaliers are 3-2 on their seven-game homestand, but are coming off losses to Denver (111-103 on Saturday) and Minnesota (100-92 on Monday). Cleveland is 9-15 this season at Quicken Loans Arena, which is the third-worst home record in the NBA. “As a young team, it is easier to get fired up for teams with a better record,” Popovich said. “We’re very aware of that.”
  • Inactive for the Spurs are Jackson and point guard Cory Joseph (NBA D-League assignment with Austin Toros), while the Cavaliers’ inactives are center Anderson Varejao (season-ending right knee surgery) and point guard Josh Selby (NBA D-League assignment with Canton Charge).

– Brian Dulik

THUNDER AT CAVALIERS, 7:30 P.M. ET

TV: League Pass

  • Cavaliers coach Byron Scott opted to keep his starting lineup intact against the Thunder, even though he benched the entire group for the fourth quarter Friday in a 117-99 loss at Detroit. Point guard Kyrie Irving, shooting guard Dion Waiters, small forward Alonzo Gee, power forward Tristan Thompson, and center Tyler Zeller are 6-6 in 12 starts, but have been dismal during Cleveland’s current two-game losing streak. “We’ve got a lot of 20-something year olds and they’re still trying to learn how to be professional basketball players,” Scott said. “We’ll see how they respond tonight.”
  • The Thunder is starting point guard Russell Westbrook, shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha, small forward Kevin Durant, power forward Serge Ibaka, and center Kendrick Perkins. Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said he was not concerned about Westbrook’s on-court tantrum Thursday during a 106-89 win over Memphis. “Russell plays with a lot of emotion and, at times, he can get too competitive,” Brooks said. “But I like that because you can always tone it down. If it’s not there in a player, there is nothing you can do to light a fire in him.”
  • Not in uniform for the Cavaliers are shooting guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson (right big toe sprain), power forward Luke Walton (personal matters), and center Anderson Varejao (season-ending right knee surgery). Gibson will miss his third straight game, but said he hopes to return Wednesday against Charlotte. Walton is out for the fourth straight contest and has temporarily left the team.
  • Inactive for the Thunder is shooting guard Jeremy Lamb (lower back strain), who did not travel to Cleveland. Center Daniel Orton, who has only played in one game this season, was elevated to the 12-man active roster. Orton scored two points in two minutes against the Cavaliers on Nov. 11.
  • Oklahoma City is playing at Quicken Loans Arena for the first time since March 13, 2011. The Thunder did not visit Cleveland during the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 NBA season.

– Brian Dulik

CAVALIERS at PACERS, 7 p.m. ET

TV: League Pass

  • In an effort to solve his ongoing second-unit problem, Indiana Coach Frank Vogel has opted to double his dosage of Hansbroughs. Ben Hansbrough, the younger brother of Tyler Hansbrough, will replace D.J. Augustin as the backup point guard starting with tonight’s game. “We’ll see what it does for the second unit,” Vogel said. “Maybe a different guy or style of play can change things.” The younger Hansbrough, an undrafted rookie, was the Big East Player of the Year at Notre Dame in 2010-11 and spent last season playing professionally in Europe.
  • One of the team’s touted offseason free-agent pickups, Augustin has been stunningly inept, averaging 13.0 minutes, 3.2 points and 2.3 assists, shooting .266 overall and .213 from the 3-point line. He has career averages of 10.3 points, 4.3 assists, .402 shooting overall and .366 from the arc. His demotion could be short-term but in the meantime Augustin needs to remain engaged while working to find his game. “It’s always a concern how a player is going to handle it when he’s taken out of the rotation,” Vogel said. “He’s got to stay bought-in, he’s got to stay sharp and he’s got to stay confident.”
  • With Kyrie Irving’s return, the Cavs are closing in on having their full complement of players. Irving missed 11 games with a broken left index finger, but came back Tuesday and scored 28 points with 11 assists as Cleveland beat the Lakers 100-94 to snap a four-game losing streak. Cavs Coach Byron Scott said there will be no need to ease Irving back into the flow. “His easing back was last night when I threw him in there,” Scott said. “Once the doctor says you’re OK and you’ve practiced, you’re ready to go.”
  • The Cavs are awaiting those developments for rookie guard Dion Waiters, who will miss his sixth straight game with a left ankle sprain.  Cleveland also will be without reserve guard Omri Casspi (5.2 points, .442 from the 3-point line), who remained at the team hotel with a stomach ailment. Daniel Gibson, listed as a game-time decision with a hyperextended right elbow, said he will play.

– Conrad Brunner

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

RAPTORS AT CAVALIERS, 7 P.M. ET

TV: League Pass

  • Cavaliers rookie Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, will start at point guard ahead of veteran Ramon Sessions. Though Cleveland coach Byron Scott didn’t announce the move until game day, he said starting Irving was “pretty easy, when you think about putting him out there with veterans who can help him adjust like A.P. (Anthony Parker), Andy (Anderson Varejao), and Antawn (Jamison).” Irving averaged 16.0 points and 3.0 assists in the preseason.
  • Raptors center Aaron Gray (rapid heartrate) traveled with the team, but is being held out of the game for “very precautionary reasons,” according to general manager Bryan Colangelo. Coach Dwane Casey said Gray’s heart “fluttered on him in practice” on two occasions during the past week, prompting Toronto’s front office to seek additional medical advice before returning him to the court. Gray was signed as a free agent on Dec. 11.
  • The Raptors’ starting lineup is center Amir Johnson, power forward Andrea Bargnani, small forward Rasual Butler, shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, and point guard Jose Calderon. Casey gave Butler the nod at the three over James Johnson because he was a “steady Eddie.”
  • The Cavaliers are starting small forward Omri Casspi with Irving, shooting guard Parker, power forward Jamison, and center Varejao.
  • When he enters the game, center Jamaal Magloire will become the first native Canadian to play for Toronto.
  • Inactive for Cleveland were center Semih Erden (right thumb fracture) and guard Mychel Thompson, while the Raptors did not dress forward Linas Kleiza (right knee surgery) and Gray.

– Brian Dulik