Random dribbles on the Cavaliers, who keep waiting, waiting and waiting some more for their next opponent.
1. Want to know the interesting thing about all this? The Cavs will have had nine days off between games, but they will only get one day to prepare for their next opponent.
2. OK, that’s not actually interesting. But the truth remains the Cavs won’t find out the winner of Game 7 between Boston and Washington until Monday night. Then, Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals is Wednesday. That gives the Cavs Tuesday to prepare for either the Celtics or Wizards.
3. The Cavs won’t even know WHERE they play until late Monday. If the Celtics win, Games 1 and 2 are in Boston. If the Wizards win, the Cavs will host first.
4. Yeah, I know. I’m rambling on about a whole lot of nothing.
5. Yeah, I know. You guys would rather read about Browns rookie camp than Cavs playoff camp. I’ll never get it, but I don’t judge. (At least, not out loud.)
6. Anyway, these long breaks can indeed be a challenge for more than just media members and fans. Even coach Tyronn Lue admitted keeping the players “engaged” isn’t always easy.
7. Lue to the media at practice: “I’ve got to trick them at times, but they’ve been pretty locked in and we’ve just got to continue to do what we do. It is what it is, and we just got to continue to work on what we need to get better at and then whoever we play we just got to be ready.”
8. Also, in case you missed it, Cavs big man Edy Tavares broke a bone in his hand and is out indefinitely. A lot of you probably didn’t even know Tavares was on the team. The 7-foot-3 center has yet to appear in a playoff game after signing late in the regular season. Tavares hurt the hand in a pickup game with teammates.
9. And that’s the thing about the long layoffs. You can never be too careful. That’s why Lue hasn’t been letting the bigger names take part in scrimmages, and keeping the contact in practice at a minimum.
10. Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving understands. “Absolutely I wish (we could scrimmage), but at the same time I understand how important it is (to stay healthy),” Irving told the media.
11. Finally, this little tidbit from ESPN Stats & Information: “If LeBron James’ current clip of 42.4 minutes per game holds up through the rest of the playoffs, it would be the third-highest average among players in their 14th season or later (min. 10 games played) in NBA history.”
12. So, that’s about it. The Cavs wait, wonder and try not to get hurt. Hang in there, basketball fans. Real games will return faster than you can say, “Title defense.”