Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers defeated the Utah Jazz 91-83 Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
1. The Cavs may have dodged a bullet. Two of them, actually. When they announced in the fourth quarter that Iman Shumpert had a sprained left shoulder and Kyrie Irving would not return with left knee tightness, it seemed as if the sky were falling again in a season where low-hanging clouds are in the daily forecast.
2. Irving added to the concerns when he said the knee had been “kind of sore” for the last 48 hours, but he still tried to give it a go against the Jazz. Irving fractured his left kneecap in Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals.
3. “Playing the whole third and kind of sitting down, it started getting tight,” Irving said. “So, I went to Bron and said ‘You got this?’ He said ‘Yeah’ and for precautionary reasons just left the game.” That discussion came during a timeout with 8:31 remaining. (James wasn’t kidding. He scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, hitting 7 of 10 shots, along with five rebounds, an assist and two steals.)To read more or comment...
Cavaliers' All-Star Kevin Love will return Thursday night after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Valentine's Day and will start against the Utah Jazz at Quicken Loans Arena, coach Tyronn Lue said.
Love was optimistic when he spoke to the media Wednesday, but wasn't willing to pin a date on when he would be back. He and general manager David Griffin felt he would return to action during the Cavs' four-game road trip that opens Saturday in Los Angeles against the Clippers and ends March 24 at Charlotte.
Kyle Korver will miss his fifth consecutive game with a sore tendon in his left foot, but Lue said Korver is "very close."
Lue said J.R. Smith will remain with the second unit until Korver returns.To read more or comment...
Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers' 128-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
1. There is something special about the brotherhood in the Cavaliers' locker room. There is something special about the thoughtfulness of coach Tyronn Lue. And it all came together in the final two minutes and after the game to give Larry Sanders a welcome back to the NBA he'll never forget.
2. Out of the league for the past two years, the 15th overall pick of the Milwaukee Bucks in 2010 was treated for anxiety and depression after he was released on Feb. 21, 2015. He had marijuana problems in his past and was arrested last year.
3. Sanders was signed on Monday and is destined to spend much of the next two weeks piling up minutes in the D-League to get back into game shape.To read more or comment...
New Cavalier Larry Sanders posted a message on Twitter via Uninterrupted, the digital media company created by LeBron James and Maverick Carter.
Coveting Sanders as a rim protector, the Cavs signed him Monday for the remainder of the season, with a team option for 2017-18.
In the video, Sanders expressed his feelings over the chance to resume his basketball career.
He said he's been working out with trainer Stanley Remy, whose past and present clients include the Cavs' Tristan Thompson and James Jones, along with Dwyane Wade and Andre Drummond.To read more or comment...
The Cavaliers are poised to hit the reset button on acquiring the rim protector they've long sought, with Larry Sanders undergoing a physical in Cleveland Monday morning and expected to sign.
A league source confirmed the news Monday afternoon.
Shams Charania of The Vertical, who reported the Cavs' renewed interest in Sanders Friday, posted on Twitter that Sanders was accompanied by his agent Joel Bell on his trip to Cleveland and that that sides were finalizing a team option in his contract "for stability."
ESPN also reported that Sanders was on the verge of signing.To read more or comment...
Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavs fell 117-112 to the Houston Rockets Sunday night at Toyota Center.
1. The Rockets wanted to make a statement, to prove they are contenders for the NBA title, to measure themselves against the defending champions. The Cavs, meanwhile, are trying to survive a grueling March, to put together their team with some key pieces still missing, to, as Kyrie Irving said, "learn about each other."
2. With the Cavs playing the second night of a back-to-back and on the final night of a three-game road trip, the measure may have been somewhat skewed. But the Rockets didn't care. For them the victory was a confidence boost.
3. Judging by LeBron James' mood, it meant something to him, too, even if it was to make a personal statement that he belongs in the MVP race with the Rockets' James Harden and the Thunder's Russell Westbrook.To read more or comment...
Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers' 116-104 victory over the Orlando Magic in Amway Center.
1. So as not to bury the lead (if there is a lead in this format), some quick nuggets from the "In case you were wondering" department.
2. When is Kevin Love coming back from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee? "Very soon," LeBron James said.
3. How badly was J.R. Smith's right thumb fractured? He said it needed a plate and eight screws to repair.To read more or comment...
If Larry Sanders is committed to resuming his NBA career and General Manager David Griffin decides he's the rim protector the Cavaliers need, LeBron James is on board.
Reports surfaced Friday night from Shams Charania of The Vertical and Brian Windhorst of ESPN that the Cavs' search for a big man to replace Andrew Bogut includes talks with Sanders, who has been out of the league for the past two seasons.
"I know Griff’s been talking with him and his agent, not sure how serious they are, but I know we liked him with our workout," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said before Saturday's shootaround at Freedom High School in Orlando. "Or Griff liked him, so not sure where they’re at with the talks. Griff will be in tonight, so we’ll see what happens."
Bogut broke his left tibia 58 seconds into his Cavs' debut Monday.To read more or comment...