On Feb. 5, the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Lakers, who literally ran out of players.
That was the low point for Cleveland, which had already made its big splash by trading for Luol Deng and still lost six straight to fall to 12th – behind Boston! – in a putrid Eastern Conference. The season seemed lost.
Suddenly, the Cavaliers have won four of five and are just 2.5 games behind the slumping Hawks for the East’s eighth and final playoff spot. Sure, 2.5 games out with 7 (for Cleveland) to 10 (for Atlanta) games remaining is a lot, and the Cavaliers would still have to jump the Knicks, who are just one game back from the Hawks.
But considering where Cleveland was just a short time ago, these playoff odds are incredible. So, it’s all hands on deck.
Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:
Hopson, a 6-foot-7 shooting guard, went undrafted out of Tennessee in 2011 and has not played in the NBA. He seemed to have draft-level talent, but maybe general managers were turned off by his confidence/arrogance. See what you want to see in this pre-draft video:
NBA GM after interviewing Scotty Hopson: “That guy is not from the same planet as the rest of us.”
Hopson has spent the last few years playing overseas, and maybe he’s tempered his own expectations. Or maybe he’s driven to prove himself correct. Or maybe he’s self-destructively delusion.
The narrative will be ascribed after we see how Hopson plays.
With Kyrie Irving (though he could return soon) and C.J. Miles injured, Cleveland’s backcourt depth is a little thin. Hopson might actually get a chance to contribute, especially considering the Cavaliers gave him a rest-of-season, rather than 10-day, contract. That must mean they like him.