Indiana has signed Andrew Bynum but they are not going to rush him along, coach Frank Vogel has said Bynum will not play until sometime after the All-Star break. They don’t need to rush because they already have the best record in the East and the best defense in the NBA. Anything they get from him is just sprinkles on top of the icing already on the cake. Bynum was a low risk pickup because if he does workout he improves their bench and if he doesn’t they don’t pay him much and he doesn’t join Miami.
Bynum went through his first practice with the Pacers Friday and spoke to the media afterward, above is the conversation. Here are a few highlights.
• What did Bynum do with his time off between the Cavaliers and Pacers? “Really just relaxing at home, that’s it.” But he’s been keeping a workout regimen going, right? “Not really.” He did say he tried to eat right. So there’s that.
• “Getting comfortable with the guys, that’s the biggest part. Then when I’m given an opportunity go play hard.”
• To his critics that say he doesn’t love the game. “That’s what their going to say, I can’t fight it. All I can do is just go play hard and put points by my name.”
• “My motivation right now is the opportunity to win, because that’s the most fun, and just being around a positive atmosphere.”
• On his time in Cleveland, who traded him to Chicago (who cut him). “The atmosphere over there wasn’t one that promoted positive energy and wanting to come in, and it was just tough.” Spoken like a guy who played and grew up under Phil Jackson.
What championship hangover? Cavaliers rout Knicks on ring night in Cleveland.
LeBron had a triple-double — 19 points, 14 assists, 11 rebounds — and led the Cavaliers to an easy win over the Knicks, 117-86. Kyrie Irving had 29 points — 19 in the third — and Kevin Love added 23 in the win.
But mostly it was the Cavaliers’ offense getting whatever shot it wanted and the Knicks watching dunks from up close.
Over the course of this season, these Knicks will evolve into something better than they showed opening night. No Derrick Rose (trial) and no Joakim Noah (injury) meant the Knicks starting five didn’t have a lot of cohesion and chemistry from the start.
After a sluggish first five minutes by both teams — they were a combined 6-of-22 shooting to open the game — the Cavaliers slowly started to create a little space behind 10 first quarter points from Love. That lead really started to grow as the Knicks bench came in and went 0-of-6 shooting to end the quarter, with Brandon Jennings making questionable decisions. Tack on seven Knick turnovers and the first and they were down 10 after 12 minutes.
The Cavs were in control through much of the second quarter until the Knicks went on a 10-0 run to make it a game again. It was Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony driving the team — they shot a combined 12-of-20 in the first half, the rest of the Knicks were 5-of-23. It was 48-45 Cavaliers at the break.
In the third quarter the Cavaliers starters cranked it up behind Kyrie Irving and tighter defense — the third quarter saw Kyrie Irving with 19 points and the entire Knicks team with 19. It was 82-64 Cavs after three and the celebration was on.
Kristaps Porzingis showed some moments but his 16 points came on 5-of-13 shooting. Anthony had 19 points on 18 shots. Rose had 17 points but four turnovers and one assist. Brandon Jennings came off the bench to shoot 1-of-7. It was not their best night.
For the Cavs, it was one to remember — the first banner in 52 years went up.
Did we mention LeBron James was dunking all over Knicks? Watch for yourself.
“At this point, if you’re not from here, live here, play here, dedicate yourself to Cleveland, then it makes no sense for you to live at this point — Cleveland against the world!”
And with that, the Q went nuts.
LeBron James and the Cavaliers got their rings and raised a banner in Cleveland — the first title banner in that city in 52 seasons (although the Indians are trying to have their say on the matter across the street). It was emotional for everyone in the building, and particularly the hometown boy LeBron.