A potential comeback during the NBA Finals by Anderson Varejao is extremely unlikely, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets. Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com said late last month that Varejao could be activated during the Finals if the Cavaliers were in a dire situation. The 32-year-old center, who played in 26 regular-season games this season, has been sidelined since late December after tearing his left Achilles’ tendon.
In other news regarding the Cavs:
- LeBron James looks glum about the Cavs’ predicament of trying to win the NBA championship without Kyrie Irving, who underwent knee surgery on Saturday, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News reports. The Warriors seem destined to win the NBA Finals against the depleted Cavs and Cleveland’s somber mood reflects that, Kawakami continues. “I said it’s going to be one of the most challenging seasons of my career from the beginning, and this just adds on to it,” James said to the media covering the Finals. “You know, we’re undermanned right now. But we’ve got guys in the locker room that are ready for the challenge, and we look forward to the challenge [Sunday] night.”
- J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Matthew Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson will have to ratchet up their production to overcome the loss of Irving, Jarrett Bell of USA Today opines. The Cavaliers’ role players must provide scoring options for James to have any hope of defeating the Warriors, Bell continues. James’ 38 shot attempts in Game 1 were a product of his teammates too often standing around and watching their franchise player rather than looking for open spaces, Bell adds.
- The raw data suggests the Cavs can be competitive without Irving or injured Kevin Love, Joe Vardon of Northeast Ohio Media Group points out. Cleveland outscored its opponent by 149 points in 545 minutes when James played without Irving and Love, including the postseason, Vardon adds. It did not matter much whether James was used as the primary ball-handler, on the wing or down low in those situations, according to Vardon.