The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to be without Andrew Bynum until… I’m no even going to take a guess here. Theoretically someday he returns. Yes, he practiced with the team and has done some 5-on-5 work, until he suits up and walks on the court I’m not playing your game.
Until that magical day, at least the Cavaliers have Anderson Varejao… for a few minutes.
Coming off life threatening blood clots that kept him out much of last season, the latest of three injury-plagued seasons, the Brazilian center told the News Herald that he could be on a minutes limit.
The Cavs have made no announcement on whether they’ll restrict Varejao’s minutes. It might not be wise to play him 35 minutes a game, even though it might be tempting.
“(I’m) not sure yet,” Varejao said. “But knowing Coach Brown, (he) probably (will). It’s all him. I want to play. If he plays me five minutes, if he plays me 35, like I said, I will give 100 percent. My goal is to stay healthy. After these last three seasons of freak injuries, I want to go out there and just have a healthy season.”
This sounds less like a hard cap of minutes (ala Amar’e Stoudemire) and more a “let’s play it by ear and not burn the guy out” situation. If you can trust Mike Brown to do that.
Tyler Zeller will get minutes at center, while Tristan Thompson will soak up a lot of the minutes at the four (if Bynum gets healthy, Varejao likely slides to the four and Thompson could see his minutes drop). Expect Brown to keep tinkering with rotations for a while to see what works… and if he finds something that works, that’s when Bynum will return.
In the mean time, Cleveland just going to lean heavily on Kyrie Irving. He’s driving that bus.
This not only changes the Kings dreams of making the playoffs in the West, it also alters the trade deadline and free agency.
Rudy Gay, the Kings wing and second-leading scorer, has been diagnosed with a torn left Achilles tendon, according to the team. During the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers, Gay drove out of the right corner and, untouched, fell to the floor hard. He had to be helped off the court by teammates.
Team doctors made the initial torn Achilles diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed by an MRI scheduled for Thursday. He would be out not only for this season but likely the start of the next one as well.
Without Gay, a lot more will fall on Matt Barnes and, once he returns from his calf injury in a couple of weeks, Omri Casspi. Those two are a drop off from what Gay brought to the Kings — this season the team gets outscored by 10 points per 100 possessions when he is off the court — and with that team’s playoff chances have taken a hit (they are 1.5 games out of the eight seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers). Don’t be surprised if the Kings look to add a scorer at the trade deadline.
Gay was not happy in Sacramento and said he planned to opt out of the $14.3 million final year of his contract to be a free agent next summer, which made him someone potentially traded before the deadline (although the Kings being in the playoff hunt impacted that). Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for the Kings, and while his game was a little old school — more isolation and midrange shots than teams prefer — he put up points. Enough that he was drawing trade interest heading toward the deadline from Oklahoma City and other squads.
That is all off the table now. At age 30, if Gay does still opt out of his contract for next season this will impact what he would make on the free market.
Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.
Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.
Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.
That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?
It just won’t die.
Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.
Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).