UPDATE 3:18 pm: And it’s official, Ilgauskas is back in Cleveland as a Cavalier.
“If I would’ve left and the team won a championship without me,” he
said, “I don’t think I could’ve ever forgave myself.”
He’s right. After all he’s meant to that franchise, he needs to be around for a title. Now comes that pesky little problem of winning one.
10:01 am: It’s official, Zydrunas Ilgauskas will sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers this morning, returning to the only team that he has ever played for.
In other shocking news, the economy stinks, health care bills are divisive, Toyota has some image problems and Ellen DeGeneres is a terrible fit on American Idol.
Brian Windhorst broke the story on his all-seeing twitter account. But this was expected from the moment Ilgauskas was included in a trade that brought Antawn Jamison to the Cavaliers. The buyout and return was never an official part of the deal, but everyone knew it was happening. A change in rules may come this summer — or as part of the new CBA — to stop this little trade/buyout/return move from happnin.
For now, the Cavs need Big Z back, as they have been losing big men like the team was based in Portland. With Shaquille O’Neal out after thumb surgery, Ilgauskas should get a lot of minutes early. Once he learns all those new plays.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.