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
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
RAPTORS AT CAVALIERS, 7 P.M. ET
December 26, 2011 · 6:03PM
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