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.
Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.
But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.
He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.
LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.
Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?
In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.
But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.
Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.
“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”
It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)
With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.
“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”
There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.
It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.
The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.
The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.
Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.
A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.