With Dean Wade out three or four weeks with a shoulder injury, the Cavaliers started Mamadi Diakite against the Knicks on Sunday, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. Diakite made one previous start this season as a fill-in for Jarrett Allen. The third-year big man out of Virginia, who went scoreless in 11 minutes, is on a two-way deal.
We have more from the Central Division:
- Bulls coach Billy Donovan moved Patrick Williams and Ayo Dosunmu to the second unit and Donovan believes it could facilitate their development, particularly the young power forward, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. “This may actually help his development, putting him in some situations where he can be a little more aggressive. I still think the development part for him is in place,” Donovan said.
- Despite the lineup changes, the Bulls aren’t going anywhere unless Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic do a better job of blending their talents, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes. LaVine concurs with that assessment. “Coach got to make his decisions, but you know the best players on the team, we got to be the ones that make the plays,” LaVine said. “On bad days, take the criticism. Good days, make sure to help us win. Play defense. Make the shot. That’s what you do. That’s why you’re in position to do this. It’s a player-driven league. I think it always starts from top to bottom.”
- Andrew Nembhard has been a solid presence at both ends for the Pacers during his rookie campaign, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files notes. The Pacers signed the first pick of the second round to a four-year deal that is fully guaranteed for three full seasons and $6.4MM, a record amount for a second-rounder coming out of college. Nembhard, who hit a game-winning 3-pointer against the Lakers, is averaging 7.4 PPG and 3.4 APG in 21.9 MPG.
- Pacers star guard Tyrese Haliburton missed Sunday’s game due to a sore groin, Agness tweets. It’s the first game he missed since being acquired from Sacramento last season.