That has forced Iman Shumpert into the starting point guard role in Cleveland, although he mostly is there for defense/shooting as the playmaking duties fall to LeBron James.
Now the Cavaliers will have to get by without Shumpert for a while with water on the knee, Cleveland announced on Saturday. He left Friday night’s Cavs win against the Clippers with a sore knee and did not return
“Additional examination and imaging today at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health confirmed left knee effusion. He will be out 5-7 days while he undergoes treatment and rehabilitation,” the Cavaliers said in a statement.
This is going to force Lue to play Jose Calderon, who he has kept glued to the bench this season despite the injuries. J.R. Smith and Dwyane Wade will need to take on more run as well.
The Celtics have won four in a row — thanks to a more focused offense — and face the Pistons, Nets, and Hornets this week.
Cavaliers’ Derrick Rose out two more weeks due to sprained ankle
With Isaiah Thomas still rehabbing, the Cleveland Cavaliers have had to lean more on Derrick Rose at the point, when he is available (he’s only played in half of Cleveland’s games). More Rose has not been good for Cleveland’s defense, and it’s forced Tyronn Lue to play Kevin Love more at center just to have enough shooting on the floor, so there are driving lanes for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
Now we will have to see what Lue and the Cavaliers do without Rose for a couple more weeks. Rose will be out for a couple of weeks with his sprained left ankle, the team announced Friday afternoon.
“Due to continued symptoms, the ankle will be immobilized in a boot for the next week and he will also undergo an extended treatment process over the next two to three weeks.”
Rose has averaged 14.3 points on 47 percent shooting this season in Cleveland.
With Rose and Thomas out, Cleveland has gone with Iman Shumpert technically as the point, although LeBron handles the playmaking duties. He brings some size to the position, but he can’t defend quick point guards well (not that Rose could). This new lineup has won the Cavaliers a couple of games in a row, although that has been far more about their offense making runs rather than their struggling defense (last in the NBA) stepping up.
It’s been tough to get a feel for this Cavaliers team and what they really are this season, in part due to all the injuries. This simply adds to that mess.
The Cavaliers take on the slumping Clippers Friday night.
Report: Derrick Rose to remain on minutes limit all season
Derrick Rose, thrust into the starting point guard role in Cleveland with Isaiah Thomas out injured, has averaged 28.6 minutes per game. Without another good option at the backup point guard spot (sorry Jose Calderon), the Cavaliers have to use LeBron James or go without a traditional point guard when Rose rests (usually the Dwyane Wade, J.R. Smith backcourt).
That doesn’t mean Rose’s minutes are going to increase.
No matter how well Derrick Rose plays this season, he will remain on a strict 28-to-31-minute restriction, multiple sources told ESPN…
Let me say, for one, I’m just happy to be a part of this team, part of something that I think is special,” Rose, 29, told ESPN. “A minute restriction, there’s nothing I can do about that. But with me having all these injuries in my past, I’m kind of used to it. But whatever the team sees and the staff sees and they want me to do, that’s what I’m going to cooperate with and just go about it the right way.”
The Cavs arrived at the 28-to-31-minute range for Rose after Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, athletic trainer Steve Spiro and Rose’s agent, B.J. Armstrong, came up with a long-term plan that they hope will keep Rose’s body fresh for Cleveland’s playoff run.
This makes sense, Rose also should get plenty of rest days down the stretch as well. He’s already had an ankle injury that sidelined him a few games this season, and considering his lengthy injury history the Cavaliers will want to protect him a little from the grind.
Rose has been solid offensively for the Cavs this season, averaging 16 points and 1.8 assists per game, with a true shooting percentage of 53. He still does most of his damage as the pick-and-roll ball handler, long his strength. Rose can still finish at the rim (he’s shooting 73.9 percent there this season) but is not great from the midrange, doesn’t take many threes, and doesn’t get to the line much. Defensively he struggles.
Rose has been what the Cavaliers expected this season, he’s just been thrust into a larger role than was first envisioned.
NBA Three Things to Know: Is Orlando for real or a mirage?
Every day in the NBA there is a lot to unpack, so every weekday morning throughout the season we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the NBA. Here’s what you missed while watching Yu Darvish cost the Dodgers a World Series.
1) Are the Orlando Magic for real? Wednesday night saw the battle of the surprise starts: Orlando vs. Memphis. Both teams were projected to miss the playoffs by most (myself included), and both teams had started out 5-2, which had people re-thinking what the postseason might look like. The Grizzlies were without Mike Conley (out with a sore Achilles, which is concerning considering his injury history) while the Magic still had Aaron Gordon. Ballgame.
Orlando is off to a 6-2 start… but are they for real? Or, is this an illusion of great basketball, much like the illusions that draw millions to the city each year?
Orlando has the second-best offense in the NBA so far this season, averaging 109.9 points per 100 possessions. However, they are doing that via the jump shot mostly — they are 26th in the NBA in percentage of shots at the rim with just 29.5 percent of their attempts from there (stats via Cleaning The Glass, which eliminates garbage time from their stats). In the modern NBA the goal is to get efficient shots, which are the ones at the rim or from three (ideally corner threes, but good defenses are better at taking that away now). Orlando is 20th in the league in the number of corner threes taken and 15th in threes overall, but they take the ninth most midrange shots.
What the Magic are doing so far is hitting those jumpers — Orlando is shooting a 41.8 percent from the midrange overall, and a very good 48.4 percent on long two pointers (second in the league). Plus they lead the NBA shooting 45.3 percent from three (again stats via Cleaning the Glass, so no garbage time in there).
When you ask if Orlando’s offense is sustainable, the question becomes: Can they keep hitting jumpers at that rate? Probably not. Last season the Magic did shoot 40.8 percent from the midrange overall, but the best team in the NBA hit just 45 percent on long twos (Warriors). Also, the best three-point shooting team in the NBA last season hit 39.3 percent (Spurs). The Warriors hit 37.9 percent from three. I like Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon, but they are no Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson from deep. The Magic will return to earth with those jumpers, they will not keep falling at this rate.
A lot of the basis of this note was done better by Ben Falk earlier this week. He is the guy behind Cleaning the Glass, and he noted that defensively the Magic are doing a good job defending the arc but are giving up a lot of shots at the rim, teams are just not hitting those shots at a high rate. That likely changes, too.
Are the Orlando Magic for real? Define real. Are they going to stay at the top of the East all season? No. The jumpers will stop falling as much, opposing teams will start to shoot better, and things will return to earth a little. But are they a playoff team in the East? Very possibly. Frank Vogel has gotten the pieces on this team to fit much better, Gordon is far better playing the four, Fournier has found more space, Jonathan Simmons has been fantastic, and the Magic are starting to put it together. This is a good team — maybe not as good as their start has looked, but a good one nonetheless.
2) Now it is time for our daily “what the heck is wrong with the Cavaliers?” segment. Turns out, a team “clear the air” meeting was not the only thing the Cavaliers needed.
The Cavaliers have now dropped four in a row after falling to the pesky Indiana Pacers 124-107.
Indiana carved up a Cleveland defense that is now second worst in the NBA overall allowing 111.3 points per 100 possessions — and the Cavs are worst overall if you take garbage time out of the equation. Cleveland is terrible in transition, plus they are doing a poor job running teams off the three-point line (and teams are knocking down those threes, shooting 43.8 percent against the Cavs from deep this season). Indiana did that to Cleveland Wednesday, hitting 16-of-26 from three (61.5 percent). The Pacers moved the ball and got the looks they wanted, and they carved up the Cavaliers with the pick-and-roll in the halfcourt and forcing rotations Cleveland was slow to make. As has been the pattern all season.
On offense, the Cavaliers were not moving the ball and were just trying to beat guys one-on-one.
It’s hard to say how serious the Cavaliers’ problems really are right now because they just don’t care yet. Call it a Finals hangover after having gone three years in a row, blame the injury to Isaiah Thomas, heck blame Donald Trump if you want, the answer is the same — until the Cavaliers not named LeBron James (who has been phenomenal this season) start to show up and perform, it doesn’t matter. Yes, there are serious questions about this team, it’s defense, and it’s playoff rotations (can they survive with Thomas and Derrick Rose defending at the point against good teams?) That’s not the issue yet. Brian Windhorst of ESPN had a great point on the Lowe Post podcast — the Cavaliers right now cared more about their Halloween costumes for LeBron’s annual bash than they did the games on either side of it. The team meeting didn’t change Cleveland’s focus, so we continue to wait on them. Eventually, they will wake up, but who knows when.
The Sixers, however, are not going to rush things. They shot down the idea of a buyout because they still think there is a trade for him to be made. Okafor’s camp thinks a reasonable trade offer has already been made, but Byran Colangelo and the Sixers front office don’t see it that way, and they have the hammer. At this point, what kind of offer can the Sixers really expect beyond a second round pick or two? They didn’t pick up his fourth-year option, so Okafor can be a free agent next summer. That killed any trade value. There are rumors Boston would like to bring in Okafor but they are willing to wait until he’s a free agent. Why give up an asset for him when you know he’s going to walk in July?
So Okafor sits on the Philly bench, out of the rotation, and just wanting a chance somewhere. It’s going to be interesting to see if he can reshape his career somewhere else — he can still get buckets around the paint. The game has moved away from his skill set — Okafor doesn’t space the floor and doesn’t defend well — but as a poor man’s Zach Randolph as a sixth man, he could carve out a nice career. There is a place for him in the NBA on some teams.
The only question is when we will get to see him try to find that niche in another uniform. It could be a while.
Too early to hit panic button, but Cavaliers drop fourth in a row, 124-107 to Pacers
CLEVELAND (AP) —Thaddeus Young scored 26 points, Darren Collison had 25 and the Indiana Pacers sent the Cleveland Cavaliers to their fourth straight loss, 124-107 on Wednesday night.
LeBron James had 33 points and 11 assists, but it wasn’t enough to keep Cleveland from losing for the fifth time in six games and falling to 3-5.
The Cavaliers held a lengthy meeting before Tuesday’s practice to discuss their struggles, but the defending Eastern Conference champions have lost by a combined margin of 58 points in their losing streak.
James was upbeat about the meeting, but the Cavaliers still have issues to work out, especially on the defensive end. Cleveland led 69-68 in the third quarter, but Indiana hit four straight 3-pointers and built an eight-point lead.
Indiana was 16 of 26 from 3-point range. Cleveland had allowed the second most 3-pointers in the league going into the game.
Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson left the game in the second quarter with a strained left calf and didn’t return.
Pacers: Bogdanovic took a knee to the head from Dwyane Wade, who was leaping trying to block his shot in the fourth quarter, but stayed in the game. … C Myles Turner worked out before the game, but remains in the concussion protocol.
Cavaliers: Thompson had eight rebounds and two points in 14 minutes. He had one point, no rebounds and four fouls in 19 minutes Sunday. … G Iman Shumpert (sore right knee) has missed the last two games.