CHICAGO: Andrew Bynum took the next big step in his return to basketball Monday when Mike Brown made the plunge to insert him into the starting lineup against the Chicago Bulls.
On multiple occasions in recent days, Brown sounded frustrated when speaking about the Cavs’ second unit. Andrew Bynum’s presence with the reserves made it a bit disjointed since his time there was always temporary. So Brown decided now was the right time despite Bynum still stuck on a relatively low minutes limit.
Brown didn’t make the move official until 20 minutes before tip-off when the lineups were due, but hinted during the morning shootaround changes were coming. Asked specifically then about Bynum, Brown said his minutes limit wouldn’t prevent starting him.
“I feel like I prepare for a lot of different things, but a lot of it is going to be on gut feel,” Brown said. “When my gut feels it, I’ll do it.”
Monday also marked the first meeting between Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose, a pair of All-Stars and Rookie of the Year winners and two of the game’s top point guards. Injuries and illness have prevented the two from meeting in any of the previous seven meetings since Irving entered the league.
“He's an established superstar in this league, a former MVP,” Irving said. “I have nothing but respect for him. But we're just going to try and get the win with my teammates.”
Rose was more concerned with improving the Bulls’ 2-3 record than an individual matchup with another point guard.
“He’s a great young player,” Rose said. “Just for me, I try not to get into match-ups. Just go out there and just play. If we were winning, I'd probably get into it. But we're just trying to win games right now.”
Brown said such matchups are fun for fans and the media, but teams don't get caught up in individual match-ups.
"It's a neat storyline, but I don't necessarily look at it like that," Brown said. "Two good, young players going at it is neat, it's fun. I'd be excited if I was a fan."