CLEVELAND — Random dribbles ahead of the Cavaliers’ home game vs. the Hornets on Wednesday.
1. Will he or won’t he? That seems to be the question surrounding Darius Garland and his return to the lineup. It seems to be very much up in the air.
2. But don’t kid yourself. The Cavs know whether Garland will play. They wisely just want to keep the Hornets guessing.
3. Personally, if all Garland’s back needs is a rest, I’d hold him out for another two games. No sense in bringing him back now, as the Cavs are in Philadelphia on Friday. They aren’t likely to beat Joel Embiid, James Harden and the 76ers on their own court even with Garland.
4. So try to beat the Hornets without him at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. You would think that’s something the Cavs might be able to do. You would think.
7. That said, I don’t know of any current player who seems to save his best games for the Cavs as much as Hornets guard Terry Rozier, the Shaker Heights native. The man just tends to light up his hometown town, often for the games in Cleveland.
8. But whatever. The Cavs (36-25) just have to defend like they know how for an entire game. Or at least the better part of it. They cost themselves one by waiting until the second half against the Timberwolves the other night. Or actually, waiting until the fourth quarter.
9. This is generally the time of year that veteran teams pick it up, especially when they are still fighting for playoff positioning. It is also generally the time of year when teams with incredibly young cores start to fade. In my 20 years of covering the NBA, that undoubtedly has been the trend.
10. I’m not saying that’s what will happen to the Cavs. I’m done doubting this team, have been for some time. And we should all reserve concern until after the returns of Garland, LeVert and even Rondo. But I am saying it’s something on which to keep an eye.
Sam Amico is senior NBA writer at Hoops Wire. Follow him @AmicoHoops.