After missing 11 games with a broken finger, the Cavaliers are expected to get Kyrie Irving back Tuesday night when they host the Lakers.
Irving practiced with the team Monday and is expected to go, tweets Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. The return is about a week earlier than expected.
Without Irving the Cavaliers offense has been a mess — they have shot 40 percent as a team their last 10 games and scored an average of 97 points per 100 possessions. That’s been worse in the last 5 games, where it fell to 92.1 on 38.3 percent shooting. For some comparison, the Wizards have the worst offense in the NBA this season at 94.7.
Or, look at the bottom line — the Cavaliers are 1-9 in their last 10 games.
The reining Rookie of the Year had improved his play this season, averaging 22.9 points and 5.6 assists per game, although he took a slight dip in efficiency (which may be tied to the talent around him… again, look at their record without him).
There is no word on when Dion Waiters will return to play, but apparently not Tuesday.
NEW YORK (AP) — Craig Sager’s fight with leukemia will prevent the basketball sideline reporter form covering the Rio Olympics for NBC.
NBC said Thursday in a statement that the 65-year-old Sager is preparing for a third bone marrow transplant at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Sager was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2014 and announced in March that he was no longer in remission.
The Rio Games would have been Sager’s fifth Olympics.
Sager has worked for Turner Sports for 34 years. At the ESPY Awards this month, Vice President Joe Biden presented Sager with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.