The Cavs‘ resurgence on defense started with the maturity of point guard Kyrie Irving, writes Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio. “In order for our team to win, I have to be that guy on the defensive end,” Irving said. “You can only talk about it for so long. At one point it just has to be done.” Cleveland has won its last three contests by an average of 23.3 points per game. Amico argues that with offensive threats like Irving, LeBron James and Kevin Love, the team only needs to be above average defensively to sustain success.
Here’s more from around the Association:
- The stoic approach of Knicks head coach Derek Fisher has led players to take it upon themselves to voice their concerns, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. “No excuses at this point,’’ forward Amar’e Stoudemire said. “No more moral victories. We can’t say we’re still learning. We have to start to be more students of the game. We’re a team that’s only won four games all season. I know it’s 17 games, but this can’t be acceptable.” The Knicks currently sport the fourth worst record in the Eastern Conference and rank 25th in the league on offense with 94.2 points per game.
- Bojan Bogdanovic is adjusting to playing in the NBA and Nets coach Lionel Hollins is confident he will improve over the season, writes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. “Sounds like a rookie,” Hollins said. “He’s more comfortable playing in Brooklyn, more comfortable playing in front of the home crowd, and when you go on the road it’s new. Every arena he walks into his new, and it’s just part of the growing process. He’ll get better.” Bogdanovic is shooting 41.9% from the field in 14 games for the Nets this season.
- The Thunder have assigned Grant Jerrett and Mitch McGary to their D-League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, according to the team’s twitter feed. Jerrett scored three points during nine minutes in his only game for the team this season. McGary, a first round pick from the 2014 draft, has not yet seen the court for the Thunder. Both players will play Sunday for the OKC Blue.