Posts Tagged ‘Omri Casspi’

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

76ERS AT CAVALIERS, 7 P.M. ET

TV: League Pass

  • Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (right shoulder sprain) returns to action and will be in the starting lineup after missing nine games. The No. 1 overall draft pick — and NBA Rookie of the Year frontrunner — went through a rigorous 45-minute workout Tuesday at The Palace of Auburn Hills, allowing him to be cleared to play against Philadelphia. “Kyrie said he feels really good, so he’s going to go tonight,” Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. “I will limit his minutes, though, but I’m not going to tell you how many that will be.” Irving leads the Cavaliers in scoring (18.8), assists (5.7), field goal percentage (.468), 3-point percentage (.414), and free throw percentage (.873).
  • 76ers coach Doug Collins is sticking with his latest starting lineup of point guard Jrue Holiday, shooting guard Jodie Meeks, small forward Andre Iguodala, power forward Elton Brand, and center Nikola Vucevic. Philadelphia has lost three games in a row, dropping it into the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The 76ers lead Milwaukee by 1 1/2 games in the postseason race, but both teams now control their destiny if they win-out.
  • The Cavaliers, however, are shaking up their lineup one night after being mauled 116-77 in Detroit. Shooting guard Manny Harris will join Irving in the backcourt, while Anthony Parker slides up to play small forward. Power forward Antawn Jamison and center Tristan Thompson round out their first five. Scott made the adjustment after learning that small forward Alonzo Gee (left ankle sprain) will be sitting out a second consecutive game.
  • Cavaliers small forward Omri Casspi is the only Cleveland player to appear in all 60 games this season, which the Israeli native said he takes great pride in. “The NBA plays such a rugged schedule, it’s important for me to go out and play every night, even when I’m not 100 percent,” said Casspi, who is averaging 7.1 points and shooting .319 on 3-pointers. “It would mean a lot to me to finish the season this way.”
  • Cleveland recalled power forward Luke Harangody from his NBA D-League assignment with the Canton Charge. The second-year pro has played in 16 contests for the Cavaliers this season, averaging 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds. Harangody played four games in four nights earlier in the week — three for Canton and one for Cleveland — and averaged 16.3 points and 8.0 boards during the stretch.
  • Philadelphia reports no injuries on its 13-man roster, while the Cavaliers will not dress Gee, centers Anderson Varejao (right wrist fracture) and Semih Erden (right ankle sprain), and shooting guard Daniel Gibson (season-ending left foot tendon surgery). Varejao, who was hurt on Feb. 10 against Milwaukee, but has been unable to participate in a full-contact practice since being sidelined.
  • Neither team conducted a morning shootaround after losing the previous evening. The 76ers were beaten 102-97 at home by Indiana, while Cleveland trailed the Pistons 100-50 after three quarters, becoming just the fifth NBA team in the last 20 years to dig a 50-point deficit prior to the start of the fourth period, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

– Brian Dulik

KINGS AT CAVALIERS, 6 P.M. ET

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