The Cavaliers celebrated their first winning streak in nearly 10 months by sitting on a broken plane for most of Thursday in Washington. That seems to be the team’s fate lately. Even when things are going well, it’s still a clunky ride.
Inclement weather forced the Cavs to remain in Washington overnight following their victory over the Wizards on Wednesday, then mechanical trouble with the plane prevented them from departing until after 2 p.m. when the original itinerary planned for an early morning departure.
Coach Byron Scott grudgingly canceled practice after he was looking forward to this week because the Cavs had three built-in practice days. They only had one day of practice each of the past three weeks due to the hectic schedule.
The Cavs have won consecutive games for the first time since March 7-11, a span of 57 games between winning streaks. They host the Atlanta Hawks tonight after a stunning win at the buzzer last month in Atlanta. This would’ve been Danny Ferry’s first trip back to Quicken Loans Arena since he left as general manager in the summer of 2010, but Ferry is not traveling with the Hawks to Cleveland. He was hired as GM of the Hawks last summer.
Kyrie Irving remains fourth in All-Star voting among backcourt players. Anderson Varejao is a distant ninth in the frontcourt.
Irving has 258,193 votes in updated polling released Thursday. He trails Brooklyn’s Deron Williams by more than 51,000 votes for third place, and more importantly, has fewer than half of the votes of Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics (574,272). Rondo and the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade are in line to start the All-Star Game for the Eastern Conference in the backcourt.
Varejao has 99,955 votes. The three frontcourt players who receive the most votes will start, and right now Kevin Garnett of the Celtics is third with 328,716 votes.
The top eight players in the Eastern Conference are in three markets: Miami, Boston and New York (counting both the Knicks and Nets). Irving is the top vote-getter outside those three markets.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has surpassed LeBron James of the Heat as the overall voting leader. Bryant has received 977,444 votes, James has 970,314. Voting ends Jan. 14.
With Varejao out of the lineup, Tristan Thompson is playing perhaps the best basketball of his young career. Thompson is riding a streak of four consecutive double-doubles and would have five, but he only had nine rebounds in a loss last week to the Toronto Raptors.
Varejao has missed the past four games with a bruised knee, during which Thompson has averaged 13 points and 12.8 rebounds.
“He has taken over the role of Andy in a little way,” Scott said prior to Wednesday’s win over the Wizards. “I don’t think you can recreate Andy’s energy, but Tristan has done a heck of a job getting after it on both ends of the floor, especially in the rebounding department. I think he has been much more aggressive. … You can see some growth and see him developing into the player we want him to be.”
Jason Lloyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.