Point guard Darius Garland indicated the Cavs may be peaking at the right time, with 12 regular-season games to go.
“I think so,” Garland told reporters. “We are really finding ourselves as a team, as a unit, as a whole. Guys are starting to figure out their roles.”
Coach J.B. Bickerstaff agreed, suggesting the Cavs aren’t letting the eye injury and absence of center Jarrett Allen get them down (at least too much), using Sunday’s road win over the Hornets as an example.
“We made adjustments and the guys are figuring things out,” Bickerstaff said. “We know who we are and what we are capable of, and as ugly as things get at times, our guys don’t quit. And you have that type of mentality where you know you can defend and get stops, you’re going to give yourself a chance. And tonight was another example of that.”
- Allen missed his first game after suffering the injury. He is considered day-to-day, which given the impact to his eye, is actually a positive. “We’re extremely fortunate and he’s extremely fortunate,” Bickerstaff said, via Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “Any time you take a shot to the eye like that, there are so many different things that can happen. … It’s something we believe he will recover from pretty quickly.”
- Allen is listed as out for Tuesday’s game at Charlotte.
#Cavs Jarrett Allen (eye) was in the arena with the team, wearing his practice jersey, earlier this afternoon at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center. Have not heard for certain if he went thru practice or not. But him being in a jersey, doing some kind of activity, is a positive sign.
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) March 13, 2023
A road win over the Lakers may be what the Knicks needed to get back on track. Power forward Julius Randle scored 33 points to help New York snap a three-game skid.
“We did enough to win, and the tone was set at the beginning by Julius,” coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters. “It gave us the confidence that, you know, ‘We’re here.’ … We have a very young team, so when you have a young team and Julius is just going into his prime, the only way they’re going to get better is by working. If they’re not working, they’re not going to get better.”
- Point guard Jalen Brunson has missed four of the past five games with a sore left foot, and Thibodeau did not offer a timeline for Brunson’s return. Instead, Thibodeau said Brunson will “continue to do treatments and see where he is.”
- The Knicks are re-signing rookie guard Trevor Keels to a two-way contract, per Steve Popper of the Newsday. To make room, the Knicks waived center Moses Brown from a two-way deal. Brown was signed last week.
The Nets are doing well on the fly and not letting all the new faces and necessary adjustments keeping them from believing. That again was evident in Sunday’s road win over the West-leading Nuggets.
“Even if we don’t know what we’re doing sometimes, just scrambling, all five guys help each other,” forward Mikal Bridges said. “Sometimes, it’s not going to be perfect, but I think just the next guy stepping up is the biggest thing.”