MINNEAPOLIS: Dion Waiters missed his third consecutive game Friday with a sprained left ankle and his fourth isn’t far behind. Waiters isn’t expected to play tonight when the Cavaliers host the Detroit Pistons, but there is a chance he could play in Tuesday’s home game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Waiters did not travel with the team to Minneapolis so he could continue his twice-a-day rehab on the ankle. All of the swelling is gone, Scott said, but he is still dealing with a bone bruise and pain.
“He wants to play [tonight], but I just don’t see it,” Scott said.
It isn’t a mandatory rule, but Scott typically likes players returning from injury to get at least one practice in before playing in a game. Waiters’ next chance at a practice would be Monday, so if Scott holds firm to the rule, Waiters wouldn’t return until Tuesday at the earliest.
“The other day he said he couldn’t really cut,” Scott said. “Obviously with the way he plays, he needs to be able to plant and cut and move. We’ll see how he feels Sunday and go from there.”
Leuer sent down
The Cavs assigned Jon Leuer to the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League after he appeared in only five of the Cavs’ first 19 games.
Leuer, claimed off waivers over the summer from the Houston Rockets, was averaging 3.2 points and 2.0 rebounds. He will be available when the Charge play at Springfield tonight.
“Just sent him down to get some playing time,” Scott said. “We think this would be the best thing for him right now. He needs to get on the floor and play.”
It was rotten timing for Leuer, who grew up about 20 minutes outside Minneapolis.
He hadn’t appeared in a game since Nov. 27 against the Phoenix Suns, when he played three minutes, so the move doesn’t exactly create minutes for rookie Kevin Jones.
Scott maintained Friday morning he wanted to get Jones at least one more practice before turning him loose in a game, but when the Cavs fell behind early Friday, Scott threw the rookie in there anyway. He responded with four rebounds in his first five minutes in the game.
It wasn’t that long ago when Cavs fans were caught in a fierce debate over whom the team should select with the top pick in the 2010 draft: Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams?
Early into their second seasons, the Cavs clearly made the right call.
Williams started the first nine games while Kevin Love’s fractured hand mended, but he has since fallen out of the rotation. He didn’t even get into the game in three of the Timberwolves’ last eight games entering Friday, and with Andrei Kirilenko returning from a back injury Friday, Williams is getting shoved farther down the bench.
“You play the people you think give you the best chance to win. If you don’t do that, you’re really stupid. You’re going to kill yourself,” Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said. “You want to win games and you play the people you see have an impact on the game in a positive way. Derrick has to keep working at it. It’s a long season.”
One who got away
The Cavs pursued free-agent guard Alexey Shved during the summer, but he ultimately signed with the Timberwolves and has gotten off to a great start. Shved, a 23-year-old rookie who played for Russia in the Olympics, is averaging 10.8 points and 3.6 assists. People around the Timberwolves believe he could be the second-best rookie in this class (behind Anthony Davis) by the end of the season.
Shved wouldn’t say how much he considered the Cavs as an option, but settled on the Timberwolves rather quickly in part because of Adelman, who coached a few Russians in Sacramento. Shved received high marks from them regarding his coaching style.
“I wanted to play here,” Shved said. “Good coach, good players and we’ll have a good team in the future. I don’t want to speak about Cleveland because right now I’m here, this is my team.”
Jason Lloyd can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Cavs blog at http://www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow him on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/JasonLloydABJ. Follow ABJ sports on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.