By Jason Lloyd
Beacon Journal sports writer
CLEVELAND: Kyrie Irving is expected to be named today to the 3-point shootout lineup during All-Star weekend when the official rosters for the events are released.
Irving should get the opportunity to become the first player to win consecutive shootout titles since Jason Kapono (2007-08). Six players have won the event in consecutive seasons, including the Cavs’ Mark Price. Larry Bird and Craig Hodges are the only players to win it three consecutive years.
Irving began Wednesday shooting 36.2 percent on 3-pointers, tied with LeBron James for 81st in the league. Asked to name who he thought are the top 3-point shooters in the game today, Irving selected Golden State Warriors teammates Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, the Atlanta Hawks’ Kyle Korver and C.J. Miles. Asked where he would place himself, Irving declined.
“I’ll let you guys do that,” he said.
Cavs coach Mike Brown has been happy with Anthony Bennett’s defensive effort lately, particularly on pick-and-rolls and in the post. Now he wants Bennett to refocus on rebounding.
“He’s played well, especially all the little things people might not be able to see,” Brown said. “He hadn’t played, so he’s catching up to the speed of the game and getting to know guys’ tendencies and the officials have to get to know him. It’s a timing thing.”
Bennett was one of seven top-10 picks from last summer’s draft to be bypassed for Rising Stars game Feb. 14 as part of All-Star weekend in New Orleans.
“Doesn’t bother me,” he said.
Anderson Varejao’s minutes restriction has been lifted. On Monday, he became the fourth player in Cavs history to have at least 4,000 points and 4,000 rebounds for his career. The others are Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Brad Daugherty and John “Hot Rod” Williams. … Irving has scored at least 20 points in five consecutive games entering Wednesday, matching the longest stretch of his career.
Jason Lloyd can be reached at email@example.com.