Acquiring a veteran backup point guard will be the next move the Cavaliers make, but there could be others in store, Joe Vardon of the Cleveland Plain Dealer speculates in his latest mailbag column. The team doesn’t trust that rookie Kay Felder can run the offense and defend for 8-12 minutes in postseason games as Kyrie Irving‘s backup, pushing the need for a backup point to the top of the wish list, Vardon continues. The club would also like to add another big man and perhaps an additional wing player, Vardon continues. GM David Griffin could open up roster spots by dumping the contract of injured Chris Andersen and moving a bench player like Jordan McRae for a draft pick, Vardon adds.
In other developments around the Central Division:
- The defending champs have lost three of the five and their stars believe practice will get them back on track, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. LeBron James expressed that sentiment during his postgame press conference in Portland and Kyrie Irving echoed it as the team prepares to face the Kings on Friday. “Practice does the mind good and the body good sometimes, and I think we’re in need of it,” Irving told Amick and other reporters. “But we’re on the West Coast road trip, West Coast swing, so we’ve just got to make due with the time we have.”
- Stanley Johnson and Darrun Hilliard are the only healthy wing players the Pistons have left in the wake of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s shoulder injury, Aaron McMann of MLive.com reports. Caldwell-Pope was injured in the early going against the Warriors on Thursday when he crashed into Golden State center Zaza Pachulia, who was setting a screen. Caldwell-Pope will have an MRI on Friday. That leaves the Pistons with the second-year duo of Johnson and Hilliard sharing the shooting guard spot until he returns. “We have two right now,” coach Stan Van Gundy said of his two-guard situation. “I mean, two actual wings, unless we play Marcus (Morris) or Tobias (Harris) there. Yeah, we’re down in numbers right now.”
- The Pacers cannot continue to pair Al Jefferson and Kevin Seraphin on their second unit because of their defensive limitations, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com details in his latest column. Opponents have outscored Indiana by about 7.5 points per 100 possessions when they’ve been on the floor together, mainly due to Seraphin’s inability to check power forwards and hedge on pick-and-rolls, Lowe continues. Adding Lavoy Allen to the rotation, or ensuring that either Thaddeus Young or Myles Turner plays alongside Jefferson, would fix the problem, Lowe adds.