• Today’s practice will determine if Kyrie Irving can play Monday against the New York Knicks. The Cavs had a very light workout on Saturday that was primarily geared toward weight lifting and a few offensive sets. The real practice, and the real test for Irving’s hyper-extended right knee, comes today.
• Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers are considered the two most likely candidates to replace Mike Krzyzewski as coach of Team USA. Krzyzewski is telling people he has coached his last game for the Americans, but USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo won’t hear an official, final answer until after the college season. It’s probably not going to change.
• Popovich is considered a front-runner and has quietly coveted the job for years, according to those around the San Antonio Spurs organization. But Rivers is a strong candidate because of his reputation and the fact the league’s stars — and ultimately the Team USA roster — love him.
• The M.I.T. Sloan Sports Analytics Conference was held over the weekend in Boston and 29 of the league’s 30 teams had a representative in attendance, up from 27 last year. The Los Angeles Lakers were the only team without a representative.
Panels this year included the changing nature of ownership, the use of analytics in sports and the meteoric rise and dominance of probabilistic thinking using objective data in decision making across all disciplines. That final panel was aptly named, “Revenge of the Nerds” and featured NBA owner Mark Cuban, NBA General Manager Daryl Morey (the chair of the conference), author Michael Lewis and political whiz Nate Silver. Despite the NBA-heavy panel, the Sloan conference spans all major sports and focuses on the emerging importance of analytics in all of them.
• Magic Johnson is turning up the pressure on LeBron James to finally enter the NBA’s slam dunk contest. On ESPN’s pregame show Friday, Johnson offered to pay James $1 million if he participates in next year’s event over All-Star weekend. Interestingly, James said during last year’s All-Star break he’d be more apt to enter if there was a $1 million prize for the winner. But asked again during All-Star weekend if he’d ever enter the contest, James said he was getting old and that “it doesn’t look good.”
• Injured center Andrew Bynum is considering arthroscopic surgery on his injured right knee to clean out loose cartilage. The procedure would wipe out his entire season after the Philadelphia 76ers traded multiple young assets last summer to acquire him. Bynum suffered a setback after playing in a 5-on-5 scrimmage last week, and now the 76ers are in a real mess. Bynum will be a free agent after the season and the Sixers are almost forced to sign him for big money after giving up so much to acquire him. Team executives have to weigh which outcome is worse: Giving up so many young pieces for a player who never played a game and allowing him to leave at the end of the season; or compounding the trade by giving a 7-foot center with bad knees a lucrative contract. Have fun with that.