Kyrie Irving has missed the last eight games for the Cavaliers due to a biceps injury, and while the team went just 4-4 in his absence, that’s enough in the dreadful Eastern Conference to be considered a run, and it has Cleveland within striking distance of making the playoffs.
Irving will return to the lineup on Wednesday as expected to further help his team’s chances.
From Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post:
Cleveland coach Mike Brown said before tipoff that Irving, who has missed the Cavs’ last eight games due to a strained left biceps, will start against Orlando with “no minute restriction on him.” He also indicated that Dion Waiters will remain in the Cavs’ starting backcourt, moving Jarrett Jack to the bench.
“Kyrie’s our best player,” Brown said. “Being able to have him out on the floor is always a positive for us. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. He brings a lot to the table for us on both ends of the floor.”
Two of Cleveland’s wins during the stretch without Irving were against playoff teams in the Pacers and the Raptors, and another was against a playoff hopeful in the Knicks.
The Cavaliers enter Wednesday night’s action three games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, and only face two teams currently in the playoffs the rest of the way in the Nets and the Hawks.
That’s just nasty.
Atlanta’s Al Horford gets the ball out high, but within his range, so when he pump fakes Indiana’s Lavoy Allen goes flying by. That opens up the lane and Horford attacks it, Solomon Hill tries to cut him off, but Horford just finishes threw him.
Pacers and Hawks played an entertaining, close game Friday night.
Dwyane Wade still has some springs.
In what may be his best dunk in recent memory, he shoulders Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to create space in transition, then gets up and throws it down before Nicolas Batum can get there for the block.
Not sure even Wade saw that one coming.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine is heading back to All-Star weekend to defend his slam dunk title. And he says he has “a few tricks up my sleeve” after dominating the event last year.
LaVine will compete against Detroit center Andre Drummond, Denver swingman Will Barton and Orlando forward Aaron Gordon in Toronto next weekend.
LaVine was one of the breakout stars of All-Star weekend last year with his electric performance in the dunk contest. He says he debated about coming back and made his decision after strong encouragement from his fans.
If LaVine wins, he will become the fourth player in the 31-year history of the event to repeat as champion. Michael Jordan, Jason Richardson and Nate Robinson are the others.
Blake Griffin will still return to the Clippers some time in March (barring any setbacks).
That said, he had a second procedure this week to repair the boxer’s fracture in his right hand, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent a second procedure this week on his broke right hand, sources told ESPN. The procedure was a part of the original surgery last week, so sources said the 4-6 week timeframe for his return remains unchanged.
This might help explain why Griffin’s hand looked so swollen and scarred this week. But to be clear, this was a planned second procedure, not a setback.
Griffin suffered the fracture punching a Clippers’ equipment manager while everyone was out to dinner in Toronto recently, while Griffin was still sidelined with a quadricep injury. The Clippers have moved on, but it is likely the league will tack on a couple of game suspension for Griffin upon his return to health.
And no, the Clippers are not looking to trade Griffin in spite of this. So stop asking.