CAVS at PACERS, 7 P.M. ET
November 2, 2013 · 6:23PM
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
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
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
BULLS AT CAVALIERS, 7:30 P.M. ET
November 2, 2012 · 6:56PM
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
WIZARDS AT CAVALIERS, 7 P.M. ET
October 30, 2012 · 6:10PM
TV: League Pass
- The Wizards will start No. 3 overall draft pick Bradley Beal at shooting guard, while the Cavaliers have named No. 4 overall selection Dion Waiters their starter at the same spot. “They are two kids with obviously bright futures in this league,” Washington coach Randy Wittman said. “They will be successful for a long time.” Florida product Beal averaged 11.3 points and 2.5 assists in the preseason, while former Syracuse sixth man Waiters averaged 8.6 points and 2.1 helpers.
- Center Emeka Okafor, power forward Trevor Booker, small forward Trevor Ariza, and point guard A.J. Price round out the Wizards’ starting lineup. “I like how this group developed from a defensive standpoint, which is why we’re going with them,” Wittman said. “Plus, by using JC (shooting guard Jordan Crawford) and Martell (Webster, small forward) off the bench, it gives us a big kick there.”
- Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving — the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year — said he was very eager for the regular season to begin for two reasons. “We’re young, so we’re going to learn together, and the playoffs are our ultimate goal,” he said, breaking into a smile. “I’m also excited not to be called ‘Rookie’ anymore. That’s not my first name.”
- The remainder of the Cavaliers’ starting lineup consists of center Anderson Varejao, power forward Tristan Thompson, and small forward Alonzo Gee. Swingman C.J. Miles, small forward Omri Casspi, shooting guard Daniel Gibson, and center Tyler Zeller are expected to round out their rotation.
- Washington’s inactives are point guard John Wall (left patella stress injury), power forward Nene (left plantar fasciitis), and power forward Kevin Seraphin (right calf strain). Wall is expected to be out until late November, but no timetable has been established for Nene or Seraphin to return.
- Point guard Jeremy Pargo and power forward Luke Harangody are Cleveland’s inactives, both as healthy scratches. Wizards point guard Jannero Pargo, who is in uniform, is Jeremy’s older brother. Jannero is 33, while Jeremy is 26.
- The game officially tips off the 2012-2013 NBA season, beginning one hour before Miami hosts Boston. The lone other contest on the evening has Dallas playing at the Lakers.
– Brian Dulik
BULLS AT CAVALIERS, 7:30 P.M. ET
January 20, 2012 · 6:05PM
TV: League Pass
- Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (left toe sprain) will sit out his third straight game and is inactive. The reigning NBA MVP, who did not take part in the morning shootaround, suffered a flare-up of the injury Saturday against Toronto. Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said Rose’s status remains day to day, but added, “each day, he’s moving in the right direction. Right now, he doesn’t feel he’s ready to go.”
- C.J. Watson will make his second start of the season in Rose’s spot, prompting Cavaliers coach Byron Scott to quip, “My prayer was answered.” The remainder of Chicago’s lineup is center Joakim Noah, power forward Carlos Boozer, small forward Luol Deng, and shooting guard Richard Hamilton. “The thing with our team is we have more than enough to work with, even without Derrick,” Thibodeau said.
- Cavaliers shooting guard Anthony Parker (lower back strain) will play after missing one game. The 36-year-old, who is the oldest player on Cleveland’s roster, said no single incident caused the stiffness. “It was just a combination of things, like our (two-week) West Coast trip, sleeping in some bad hotel beds, and playing in a lot of games one after the other,” Parker explained.
- Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving is averaging 21.8 points and 5.2 assists in his last six games. The No. 1 overall draft choice leads all rookies in scoring (17.7), and ranks second in assists (5.2) and field goal percentage (.486). Irving said he empathizes with Rose, having missed a significant portion of his one year at Duke with ligament damage in his right big toe. “It’s really like jamming your finger, but worse, because that’s where you get your power from,” he said.
- Irving, Parker, small forward Omri Casspi, power forward Antawn Jamison, and center Anderson Varejao will start for Cleveland. Guard Mychel Thompson and swingman Christian Eyenga are inactive for the Cavaliers.
- Chicago has the best record in the NBA at 13-3, while Cleveland is 6-7 and stands seventh in the Eastern Conference standings. The Cavaliers have played a league-low four home games, winning two of them.
– 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