Atlanta Hawks guard/forward Kyle Korver suffered a right ankle injury with 1:01 remaining in the third quarter of last night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. X-rays performed at Philips Arena last night were negative. A follow-up MRI and examination this morning at the Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic confirmed a severe high right ankle sprain. Korver will see a foot and ankle specialist to determine the best course of treatment. He is out for the remainder of the postseason.
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Cavs take 2-0 series lead vs Hawks
The Cleveland Cavaliers are rocking, and leave Atlanta with two wins, heading to Cleveland for Game 3. No Kyrie Irving in Game 2, no Kevin Love for the rest of the playoffs, yet no problem so far for LeBron James and company. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting:
The Cavaliers are down to one superstar and plenty of helping hands.
The Hawks might be down to their last rites.
LeBron James had 30 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists and the Cavaliers beat the Atlanta Hawks 94-82 Friday in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals to take a commanding 2-0 series lead. And they did it without Kyrie Irving.
Irving was held out of Friday’s game because of tendinitis in his left knee, yet his absence was barely noticeable.
Matthew Dellavedova had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists in place of Irving, Iman Shumpert scored 16 points and the Cavs held the high-powered Hawks to 42 percent shooting while dismantling the best team in the East on their own floor.
Tristan Thompson grabbed 16 rebounds and Timofey Mozgov had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving and Cavaliers head team physician Dr. Richard Parker traveled today to see Dr. James Andrews of the Andrews Institute. Irving’s left knee was evaluated and his diagnosis (tendinitis) confirmed and treatment plan agreed upon. Irving will be with the team tonight in Atlanta, but will not play. He will continue treatment and is currently listed as Questionable for Sunday’s game in Cleveland.
Kyrie Irving health update: questionable for tonight’s Game 2
Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving will not attend the team’s shoot around this morning in Atlanta in order to undergo additional evaluation with head team physician Dr. Richard Parker. After continuing his treatment following Wednesday night’s game, symptoms related to his left knee tendinitis had not diminished and additional evaluation was recommended. He will be listed as Questionable for tonight’s game.
Atlanta Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll suffered a left leg injury with 4:59 remaining in the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. An X-ray was negative and an MRI revealed a left knee sprain. Carroll will be listed as questionable and his status will be updated as appropriate.
Cavs take 1-0 series lead vs Hawks
J.R. Smith knocked down a tough 3-pointer, then another. Turning toward the fans, their heckling transformed to groans, he blew off his right index finger and motioned toward his side, like he was holstering his pistol.
Yep, Smith was that hot.
While LeBron James led Cleveland with 31 points, it was Smith who ignited the Cavaliers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. He made eight 3-pointers and scored 28 points in a 97-89 victory over the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
”When he gets hot,” Cleveland coach David Blatt marveled, ”he gets smoking hot.”
Intent on bringing Cleveland its first NBA title, James sealed the victory with a soaring dunk in the final minute.
J.R. Smith steps up in Game 1 vs Hawks
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks 97-89 on Wednesday to open the NBA Eastern Conference finals.
With a berth in the NBA championship finals on the line in the best-of-seven series, J.R. Smith set a Cavaliers club record for three-pointers, draining eight from beyond the arc.
His 28 points accounted for all of the scoring by Cleveland reserves.
“I was just trying, if anything, to take good shots,” Smith said. “I got in a rhythm early and just stayed aggressive.”
Kyrie Irving health status for Eastern Conference Finals: good to go
The Cleveland Cavaliers are still without Kevin Love, who is out for the rest of the playoffs and inactive for months beyond that, but banged-up guard Kyrie Irving appears healthy enough to play in Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks in the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting:
Kyrie Irving worked overtime Monday, bouncing around the court during a shooting drill with LeBron James long after the formal portion of practice had ended.
Irving is still fighting injuries to both his left knee and right foot, but he moved fluidly and without a limp. And most importantly, he declared himself ready for Wednesday’s opening game of the Eastern Conference finals at the Atlanta Hawks.
“I’m going to go,” he said.
Irving’s availability was never really in doubt, although Cavaliers coach David Blatt cast a temporary shadow when he said he was hopeful Irving would be ready. After Irving was a full participant on Monday, Blatt said he was “encouraged’ by the progress his star guard made in a relatively short amount of time.
Kyrie Irving sits out Saturday practice
The Cleveland Cavaliers recently proved they can win a big game while LeBron James’ shot is off and Kyrie Irving (and Kevin Love) aren’t on the floor, but it’s not something they care to attempt on a regular basis. Ideally, Irving will be out there, making defenders look slow while he racks up points. But he’s banged up. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting the latest:
Cavs’ All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving was held out of practice Saturday after reaggravating a left knee injury in Thursday’s closeout Game 6 against the Chicago Bulls.
An MRI on Monday revealed tendinitis in Irving’s knee. Irving has also been battling a right foot strain suffered in Game 2 of the first-round series against the Boston Celtics.
Cavs coach David Blatt said Irving saw the doctors again Friday. Blatt couldn’t give a definitive assessment of Irving’s status for Wednesday’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Hawks in Atlanta, but said the Cavs “hope” he can play.
All-Star guard Kyrie Irving has stayed off the practice court to rest his injured knee as the Cavaliers began preparing for the Eastern Conference finals against Atlanta.
Irving sat out nearly three quarters of Game 6 in Chicago on Thursday night after aggravating tendinitis in his left knee. Irving was seen by team doctors on Friday and on Saturday Cavs’ coach David Blatt says he’s hopeful his starting point guard will play in Wednesday’s Game 1 in Atlanta.
– Associated Press
Kyrie Irving struggling, playing with foot strain
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving looks like a shade of his former self lately as he struggles to play through injury. Would taking a game off to recover help? Problem is, there’s no margin for error left. The Cavs and Chicago Bulls are tied 2-2 in their very gritty second round playoff series. Both teams are two losses away from elimination. Tough situation, especially with the Cavs already missing injured forward Kevin Love. Here’s the Cleveland Plain Dealer reporting:
It’s been a frustrating last few games for Irving, who has been diagnosed with a right foot strain. He gave everything he had on Sunday, but the three-time All-Star still couldn’t prevent the thoughts from creeping into his head: He started to feel like he had a question for his teammates.
“I asked them if they still wanted me out there,” he revealed after Cleveland’s 86-84 Game 4 win against Chicago.
This is not the same unstoppable offensive force who stunned San Antonio for 57 points in March; or the player who exploded for 30 points in his playoff debut against Boston, squashing any talk about his readiness for the NBA’s biggest stage.
This is a wounded youngster who scored 12 points on Sunday and is now averaging 11.5 points on 5-of-23 (21 percent) shooting in the last two games. But his numbers, while they are well below Irving’s standards, don’t seem to matter to his teammates. One of them, Iman Shumpert, didn’t hear Irving’s pointed query, but there wouldn’t have been much to ponder.
“I definitely always want him out there if he can go,” Shumpert said after the game. “We will be hurt after the season. Right now we have to get wins.”
D-Rose helps Bulls take Game 1 vs Cavs
Pau Gasol is rocking, Derrick Rose looks like D-Rose again and the Chicago Bulls, playing against the Cleveland Cavaliers (no Kevin Love, no J.R. Smith) took a 1-0 lead in their second round playoff series. Here’s the Bulls.com blog:
The Bulls Monday didn’t slay the giant, though their 99-92 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal was complete, efficient and impressive.
Derrick Rose had 25 points, five rebounds and five assists, Pau Gasol added 21 points and 10 rebounds, 13 points in the third quarter when the Cavaliers rallied back from a 16-point deficit, and Jimmy Butler added 20 points and a clinching, driving bank shot with 30.6 seconds left.
The wire-to-wire victory gave the Bulls a 1-0 lead in the series with Game 2 in Cleveland Wednesday.
But it takes four whacks to slay a giant in these things, a giant who has stolen the Bulls championship hopes and dreams the last five years, twice even after losing the first game of a playoff series. Maybe it’s different this time, and perhaps he’s not quite the fearsome giant.
“It’s not a point about looking in the past or talking about the past,” said Rose, who had a late scare with a shoulder “stinger” that apparently proved no problem. “The teammates I have on my team right now, like I said, I’m grateful. I’m so fortunate to be playing with them. I think we can be a dangerous team.
“The way I used to play back in the day is totally different than the way I play now,” added Rose. “I can’t think about the past or even put in my head (losing playoff series after being ahead 1-0). I can only have positive thoughts; just trying to lead my team in a positive way. You can’t think of how many times he beat us in the past; it’s over. We’re in the present now.”
LeBron James, still playing with no headband
Here’s the Northeast Ohio Media Group reporting on the state of LeBron James’ headband. These days, the headband is on the bench, waiting to be utlized. But it shouldn’t hold its headband breath. Explanation:
Cavaliers small forward LeBron James has immersed himself in the spirit of togetherness.
On March 10 in Dallas, he played without wearing his patented headband. The last time he went into a game without headgear was a preseason matchup against Detroit during his rookie season.
He has been headband-less ever since.
James never provided a rationale for ditching his branded look. He has simply stated that he chose to do so out of the blue. Recently I was able to get more of an explanation out of him.
“I did it because I just wanted to look like my teammates,” James told Northeast Ohio Media Group. “Just wanted to be one. Nothing more than that.”
Cavs set to resume play after long layoff
You remember the Cleveland Cavaliers, right? They swept the Boston Celtics and have been sitting and waiting to begin the second round. They’re without power forward Kevin Love for the rest of the playoffs, though. And without shooting guard J.R. Smith for a couple of games. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:
By sweeping the Boston Celtics out of the first round of the playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers saved themselves the stress that comes with an elongated series but gave themselves a new challenge to think about: How will they respond as a team to having eight days off in between Game 4 against Boston and Game 1 against the Chicago Bulls on Monday?
“It’s a concern,” Cavs coach David Blatt said Sunday after his team’s final practice before it opens up the second round, “and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t because that’s a long time, and our opponent obviously played games during that time.”
The Bulls, who beat the Milwaukee Bucks by 54 points in a close-out Game 6 on Thursday, should be coming into the Eastern Conference semifinals with some semblance of game rhythm. The Cavs, meanwhile, practiced five out of the seven days they’ve had to wait since finishing their first-round series.
“I hope we respond well,” Blatt continued. “Exactly what that’s going to look like initially, it’s hard for me to say.”
Kevin Love injury update: Out for second round, perhaps longer
Cavaliers forward Kevin Love sustained a left shoulder dislocation during the first quarter of yesterday’s game in Boston vs. the Celtics. His shoulder was assessed, reduced in the locker room, immobilized and he did not return to the game. X-rays and a MRI have been performed, as well as further evaluation at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health today by Cavaliers head team physician Dr. Richard D. Parker and Dr. Mark Schickendantz.
Evaluation and imaging have defined the extent of the injury: an acute anterior inferior glenohumeral dislocation with the corresponding ligament/labrum tearing and humeral head bone bruising. Currently, Love is undergoing training room treatments while additional opinions are being obtained and treatment options being explored.
Love will be unavailable for the Cavaliers’ upcoming Conference Semifinal playoff series and an update regarding his status beyond that will be determined over the next several days.
J.R. Smith and Kelly Olynyk suspended, Kendrick Perkins fined
Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith has been suspended two games without pay and Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk has been suspended one game without pay for their roles in separate incidents during Cleveland’s 101-93 victory over Boston on April 26 at TD Garden, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations. In addition, Cavaliers center Kendrick Perkins’ second quarter Flagrant Foul 1 has been upgraded to a Flagrant Foul 2 and he has been fined $15,000.
Smith’s incident, during which he swung his arm and made contact with the head of Celtics forward Jae Crowder, resulted in a Flagrant Foul 2 and his ejection at the 10:24 mark of the third quarter of the game. Smith will serve his suspension in Games 1 and 2 of the 2015 NBA Eastern Conference semifinals when the Cavaliers host the winner of the Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks series.
The incident involving Olynyk, in which he became entangled with Cavaliers forward Kevin Love and yanked his arm down, occurred with 5:22 remaining in the first quarter of the game. Olynyk will serve his suspension in the first game of the 2015-16 NBA regular season for which he is eligible and physically able to play.
The incident involving Perkins occurred with 1:44 remaining in the second quarter of the same game.
To view the plays, click on the following links:
Kevin Love thinks Kelly Olynyk injured him on purpose
Here’s the Boston.com blog reporting on Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, who suffered a dislocated shoulder at the hands of Celtics big-man Kelly Olynyk during a play that looked like pro wrestling just as much as it looked like basketball:
Kevin Love was not in a celebratory mood after the Cleveland Cavaliers swept the Celtics out of the postseason on Sunday afternoon. Following the game, Love made it clear that he blamed Boston’s Kelly Olynyk for a dislocated left shoulder he suffered in the game.
“I thought it was a bush league play,” Love said of Olynyk’s foul. “I mean I was out there and Olynyk was in a compromising position and had no chance to get the ball. It’s just too bad he would go to those lengths to take someone out of a game and do it to someone. I have no doubt in my mind he did it on purpose.”
Love suffered the shoulder injury midway through the first quarter after getting tangled up with Olynyk as both players attempted to rebound a loose ball. Olynyk was whistled for a foul on the play, but Love was forced to miss the remainder of the contest with the injury.
Coach David Blatt is an experienced winner
Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt is an experienced winner. In places other than the NBA, that is. He’s new to the league and had a good regular season, but these playoffs should be a learning experience. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:
Growing up in Framingham and cheering for the likes of Celtics greats Bill Russell and John Havlicek, Cavaliers coach David Blatt knew what championship basketball was all about.
At the professional level, Blatt has coached 17 champions in various leagues and tournaments, the most recent, a Euroleague title last year for Maccabi Tel Aviv.
None of those championships were the NBA, so critics were interested to see how he would handle his first postseason series against the Celtics.
“I don’t really know if people are aware of just what kind of different competitions I’ve been in based on how they approach my rookie season here in the NBA,” said Blatt, 55, a Princeton graduate. “It’s kind of funny to me. You have to recognize that I’ve been on playoff runs that are national team-oriented. I’ve coached teams that have played 11 games in 15 or 16 days in order to win a medal or European championship.
“They don’t have anything like that in the NBA. That’s extremely difficult.”
Video: Ridiculous Kyrie Irving three-pointer
Just sit back and imagine being able to do what Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving does here:
David Blatt and Steve Kerr named NBA Coaches of Month for March, 2015
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ David Blatt and the Golden State Warriors’ Steve Kerr today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.
Blatt led the Cavaliers to the best record in the East during March at 11-4 (.733). The Cavaliers averaged 107.0 points and surrendered just 97.9 points in March, en route to posting the best differential in the conference at +9.1 ppg. Cleveland went 5-0 at Quicken Loans Arena, where it has now won 16 consecutive games.
Kerr guided the Warriors to the NBA’s best record in March at 16-2 (.889). The Warriors averaged 108.4 points and surrendered just 96.3 points, which accounted for a +12.1 ppg differential, good for second in the West. Golden State closed the month with 10 consecutive wins, including six against teams that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.
Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Boston’s Brad Stevens, Brooklyn’s Lionel Hollins, Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.