OKLAHOMA CITY: Tyler Zeller will not rejoin the team in New York on Tuesday when the Cavaliers conclude their longest road trip of the season at the Brooklyn Nets.
Zeller has missed three games already with a concussion and fractured cheekbone suffered in Monday's victory at Los Angeles. It remains the team's lone victory on this six-game trip.
The concussion is holding Zeller back more than the fracture, a team source said. He has not been cleared from the league's concussion program, although coach Byron Scott said earlier on this trip he was hopeful Zeller could play when the Cavs host the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday. That would mark about 12 days since Zeller was injured.
Scott was quiet Monday when asked again why he benched Dion Waiters for the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to Oklahoma City, opting instead to play Donald Sloan and Daniel Gibson to start the fourth. He finished the quarter with Kyrie Irving and Gibson.
"We won't even get into that," Scott said, but did add that Waiters will start against the Nets as usual.
Scott is considering tweaking Irving's minutes to get him on the floor sooner in the fourth quarter. The last two games have gotten away from the Cavs early in the fourth quarter. Scott has been playing Irving all of the third quarter, then leaving him on the bench for the first five to six minutes of the fourth.
Scott is considering pulling Irving late in the third quarter so he can bring him back for the game's final 10 minutes.
"It’s something I thought about (Sunday) and something I continue to think about,” he said. “I have to figure out a way to keep those (starters) on the floor, but I don’t want the second unit to think I’m losing faith in them, either. It’s trying to juggle both those things at the same time.”