J.R. Smith

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Shorthanded Cavaliers now without Iman Shumpert for 5-7 days

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Isaiah Thomas is still rehabbing his hip, he should return next month.

With him out, Tyronn Lue and the Cavaliers have had to lean more on Derrick Rose at the point, except he has a sprained ankle that is going to have him out a couple more weeks.

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.

J.R. Smith’s dad told him “Don’t risk turning the ball over, just shoot it”

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Gunners are made, not born.

Since joining LeBron James in Cleveland, J.R. Smith has been less of a gunner without conscience than he was with the Knicks or previous stops, but the man still doesn’t fear to jack it up. He’s not in there to pass.

Where did this mentality come from? His father, as he told the Cavs’ website.

Somewhere, Kobe Bryant silently nods.

Smith is averaging 26.4 passes per game, which is right about the same number as Ryan Anderson in Houston or Buddy Hield in Sacramento — two other guys in the game to shoot every chance they get. He’s moving the ball a little more than last year, but he’s still no passer. His dad’s words still ring in his ears.

Wayne Gretzky’s dad told him “you miss every shot you don’t take,” which is sort of the same thing. Although Gretzky had an unrivaled gift for passing, not just shooting. He played less defense than Smith, though.

 

 

Report: Derrick Rose to remain on minutes limit all season

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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.

He is on a minutes limit to keep him healthy and fresh for the playoffs, and that is not changing, reports Dave McMenamin at ESPN.

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.

LeBron James goes as killer clown to his annual Halloween party (photos)

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Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said some Cleveland players are intimidated by LeBron James.

This won’t help.

LeBron held his annual Halloween party last night and went as Pennywise:

Other costumes:

Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian as Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen:

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union as Milli Vanilli:

Isaiah Thomas as Eazy-E:

Cruisin' down the street in my '64 #ripEazyE #StraightOuttaCompton #Halloween2017

A post shared by Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) on

Kevin Love as Sting and J.R. Smith as a Conehead:

Kyle Korver as Willy Wonka:

Personally, I think Wade and Union are the big winners.

Three Things to Know: What is wrong with the Cavaliers?

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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. Or, what you missed yesterday while bingeing the new season of Stranger Things. For a second time.

1) What is wrong with the Cavaliers? It’s a combination of three things.
It’s early. The NBA tends to follow form over the marathon of the season and especially in playoff series. Which is to say LeBron James is right when he said, “It’s a long season. It’s way too (early to judge]).”

That said, the Cavaliers have lost games to the Magic, Nets, Pelicans, and Knicks in four of their last five games — coach Tyronn Lue called the last one to New York “unacceptable. In those five games the Cavaliers have the second-worst defense in the NBA and have been outscored by 11.2 points per 100 possessions, The Cavs are now 3-4 on the season, and after opening night they had a very soft schedule. All of this gets viewed through the lens of LeBron making his decision on where to play next season.

What’s wrong? Here are three things I see.

• They are in a malaise on defense. Defense in the NBA starts with effort, and the Cavaliers have given almost none of it. This shows up mostly on defensive rotations, if a team can move the ball the Cavaliers fail to rotate and spot-up shooters are getting great looks. But it’s more than that, it’s guys slowly jogging back in transition defense (the not-so-speedy Knicks abused them here), or not helping in isolation situations. Part of this is personnel — if you play Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, and Kevin Love heavy minutes it will take a toll on your defense. Tyronn Lue said conditioning — the oldest team in the NBA, plus going to the Finals three straight seasons — has played a role. Okay, but the effort is not there, and that without that nothing happens.

• The offense hasn’t been good enough to cover the D up. In recent years when the Cavaliers have decided to take a vacation from playing defense, their offense was good enough to cover it and still get the team wins. Not this time. In their last five games the Cavaliers offense has been pretty much average (18th in the NBA). They haven’t shot the ball terribly well, or gotten enough easy buckets in transition. LeBron James has been brilliant, but the rest of the Cavs? This graphic from NBA Math sums it up well (using data from before the Knicks game).

• The Cavs are still trying to integrate a lot of new faces. This is the most hopeful thing for Cavaliers fans — this team should improve as the season goes along. They are integrating Jae Crowder and Dwyane Wade into the rotation, plus still getting Kevin Love used to being in the starting five. There were bound to be kinks, and some are being worked out (J.R. Smith now starting for Wade). Plus, they will get Isaiah Thomas back in January, boosting their depth and shooting. This team is going to get better and should be who we expected when it matters come the end of the season and playoffs. But now, they are off to a rough start.

2) Victor Oladipo drains stepback three to lift Pacers over Spurs. The Spurs are another power team in a little slump, they have lost two in a row on their road trip.

The latest came Sunday at the hands of the Indiana Pacers, on a Victor Oladipo step-back three over LaMarcus Aldridge — then watch Oladipo yell “This is my city” after the make.

3) Bradley Beal, Draymond Green dodge suspensions. I find it easier to predict the strike zone in Game 5 of the World Series (that thing was all over the place for both teams) than I do the NBA’s suspension vs. fine structure. I watched the fight below and thought suspensions were coming for Beal and Green.

Nope, Beal was fined $50,000 and Green $25,000. Our Dane Carbaugh estimated those salaries works out to 5.7 minutes of gameplay for Beal and 3.75 minutes for Green.

Kelly Oubre Jr. picked up a $15,000 fine for jumping into the fray.

The real punishments came down on the Wizards’ Markieff Morris and Carrick Felix, who will be suspended for a game apiece for leaving the bench during a fight. So just to be clear: Start a fight on the court, lose 4-6 minutes of salary, leave the bench during the fight get suspended for a game. That totally seems fair.