CAVALIERS at PACERS, 7 p.m. ET
December 12, 2012 · 6:27PM
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
HEAT AT CAVALIERS, 7:30 P.M. ET
February 17, 2012 · 6:50PM
TV: League Pass
- Heat small forward LeBron James makes his lone visit to Quicken Loans Arena this season — and will play his third game in the building since leaving the Cavaliers as a free agent in July 2010. Only four current Cleveland players were on the roster for James’ final game with the Cavaliers: Power forward Antawn Jamison, center Anderson Varejao, and shooting guards Daniel Gibson and Anthony Parker. “There is no No. 6 James jersey hanging in our locker room, so we’ve all moved on,” Cleveland power forward Tristan Thompson said. “LeBron is entitled to do what he wants to do.”
- James, who did not speak with the media before the game, played his first seven NBA seasons with the Cavaliers after a spectacular four-year career at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. “The Chosen One” remains Cleveland’s all-time leader in points (15,251), steals (955), minutes (22,119), turnovers (1,802), field goals made (5,415), field goals attempted (11,403), free throws made (3,650), free throws attempted (4,917), and 3-pointers attempted (2,344). James has a 5-1 record against the Cavaliers, including 1-1 on the road.
- Rookie Thompson, the fourth overall choice in the 2011 NBA Draft, said he watched James’ return to Cleveland last Dec. 2 on television. “I was eating chips and queso at Chili’s at the time, but I could see the crowd was crazy,” Thompson said, laughing. “I saw the signs and heard their chants, which made me laugh, but I also told myself, ‘These fans are awesome. How great would it be to play for their team and have them behind me every night?”
- The Cavaliers will be without Gibson (left ankle sprain), Parker (lower back strain), and Varejao (right wrist fracture). Gibson was injured Wednesday when he landed on the foot of Indiana guard Paul George after launching a 3-pointer, but should return to action before the All-Star break. “Boobie said he feels a lot better, but he’s not going to play tonight,” Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. “We’ll re-evaluate his situation tomorrow.”
- The Heat’s starting lineup includes James, point guard Mario Chalmers, shooting guard Dwyane Wade, power forward Chris Bosh, and center Joel Anthony. The Cavaliers’ first five is point guard Kyrie Irving, shooting guard Alonzo Gee, small forward Omri Casspi, power forward Antawn Jamison, and center Semih Erden.
- Miami’s inactives are center Dexter Pittman (left shoulder strain) and shooting guard Terrel Harris.
– Brian Dulik
BUCKS AT CAVALIERS, 7:30 P.M. ET
February 10, 2012 · 6:49PM
TV: League Pass
- Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (concussion) will not play tonight against Milwaukee or Saturday against Philadelphia, but remains listed as “day-to-day.” The No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft was injured Tuesday in Miami when he was inadvertently kneed in the head by Heat guard Dwyane Wade. Former Bucks point guard Ramon Sessions makes his second straight start in Irving’s place. “Obviously, they’re a very different team without Irving, but Ramon will do a nice job,” Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said.
- Also out for Cleveland is shooting guard Anthony Parker (lower back strain), who last played on Jan. 29 at Boston, but power forward Tristan Thompson will return to action after missing four games with a sprained left ankle. Daniel Gibson makes his third start of the season at shooting guard. Center Anderson Varejao, power forward Antawn Jamison, and small forward Omri Casspi round out the Cavaliers’ first five.
- Skiles downplayed comments made by Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings, who said he was “doing my homework on big market teams,” but later tweeted, “Just because I said I’m keeping my options open don’t mean I’m leaving Milwaukee.” Jennings cannot become an unrestricted free agent until 2014. “It’s premature because Brandon is still in his rookie deal,” Skiles said. “He’s still got to become a restricted free agent (in 2013) before any of that comes into play.”
- The Bucks will start center Drew Gooden, power forward Luc Mbah a Moute, small forward Carlos Delfino, shooting guard Shaun Livingston, and Jennings. Out for Milwaukee are center Andrew Bogut (left ankle fracture) and power forward Larry Sanders (illness), but power forward Ersan Ilyasova (back spasms) returns to action after sitting out one game.
- For additional depth, the Cavaliers signed NBA D-League point guard Ben Uzoh to a 10-day contract. Uzoh was averaging 16.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The 6-foot-3 Tulsa product spent the 2010-2011 NBA season with the New Jersey Nets.
- The Bucks are holding down the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, one-half game ahead of the Knicks and Cavaliers.
– 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