Kevin Love, it’s your show.
Kyrie Irving was already out due to a strained shoulder, now comes word that LeBron James will be out for the Cavaliers’ game Friday against the Pacers. Dave McMenamin of ESPN broke the news, since confirmed by the Cavaliers themselves.
This is not good news if you are a Cavs fan.
That said, David Blatt gets it — the Cavaliers are not playing for a February Friday in Indiana, they are playing for June. Irving healthy and LeBron rested matter far, far more important to the team.
When Kyrie Irving didn’t board the team charter flight Thursday night after the Cavaliers’ statement win over Golden State so he could get an MRI on his shoulder, you had to know this was coming.
Kyrie Irving is out Friday night when the Cavaliers take on the Pacers due to a strained shoulder, the team announced. He is day-to-day.
Irving is averaging 21.7 points, and 5.2 assists a game this season. More importantly, the Cavaliers’ offense drops 12.8 points per 100 possessions when he is off the court. Although, the Cavs do still have that LeBron James guy, so they probably will score some points.
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Expect a lot more Matthew Dellavedova and Iman Shumpert, if you have them on your fantasy teams. (And if you have Dellavedova on your fantasy team, we need to talk.)
You’re still going to disagree with the call that goes against your team. At least now you’ll have the NBA’s reasoning behind the call when you tweet the game was fixed.
Officiating in the NBA is always a debate during the playoffs, so in an effort of transparency, the NBA is going to release a Last Two Minutes” officiating report. That report will have a “senior referee manager or basketball operations manager” assess the calls in all games that are within five points in the final two minutes of the game (and this will include overtime for those games). The report also will have a video link to said play.
“Our fans are passionate and have an intense interest in understanding how the rules are applied,” said Mike Bantom, Executive Vice President of Referee Operations, in a released statement. “NBA referees have the most difficult officiating job in sports, with so many split-second decisions in real time. We trust this consistent disclosure will give fans a greater appreciation of the difficulty of the job and a deeper sense of the correct interpretations of the rules of our game.”
Here is what the report will look like, from an NBA sample using the Jan. 19 Knicks/Blazers game:
This is a good step by the league.
It’s not going to change some minds — referees make their calls on bang-bang plays and fans see those calls with their heart. If you’re a Thunder fan, Russell Westbrook will not commit a charge going to the rim. If you’re a Mavericks fan, Tyson Chandler stays vertical and doesn’t commit fouls on guys penetrating the lane. It’s not universal, some calls are obvious, but how many times have you (or I) seen a call as obvious only to have people try to tell you that you’re wrong?
Still, every step toward referee transparency is a good one.