Cavs Notes — The latest on Drummond's injury, plus Exum's out and Porter's rise

Andre Drummond is dealing with a calf strain

James Rapien
February 26, 2020 - 6:34 pm
Feb 9, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond (3) prepares to shoot a free throw in the third quarter against the LA Clippers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

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CLEVELAND, OH — The Cavaliers will be without center Andre Drummond for Wednesday night’s matchup against the 76ers.

The two-time All-Star is dealing with a calf strain that has bothered him since last week. Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff says Drummond is day-to-day. 

“I will talk to the training staff after tonight. He went and got it looked at today,” Bickerstaff said. "He talked about it in Miami. I guess it tightened up on him so he couldn’t go tonight.”

Drummond wasn’t present during the portion of shootaround that's open to the media on Wednesday morning.

Tristan Thompson will start at center against the 76ers. Ante Zizic could also get minutes with Drummond sidelined.

It’s a bad time for the Cavaliers’ starting center to be sidelined. All-Star Joel Embiid scored 49 points and grabbed 14 rebounds against the Hawks on Monday. Thompson, Zizic and the rest of the Cavs’ frontcourt could have their hands full with Embiid, who is one of the best centers in the NBA. 

Drummond has gotten off to a rocky start in Cleveland. He wasn’t on the court during their 19-point fourth quarter comeback on Monday against Miami. He’s averaging 12.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per contest in five games with the Cavaliers.

“I understand how difficult it is being in his position,” Bickerstaff said. “It’s tough when you have been one place so long, used a certain way, played with a group of guys for so long and then come into a situation like this where there is so much that’s new and having to learn to play with the guys around you — it’s difficult. It’s tough, but his attitude has been really good. There’s moments of frustration, but he hasn’t let it impact him in a negative way.”

Drummond isn’t the only player dealing with an injury.

Dante Exum will miss an extended period of time with a sprained ankle. He was using a crutch to walk on Wednesday after suffering the injury in Monday’s win over the Heat.

Other Notes

Kevin Porter Jr. put on a show against Miami, finishing with 30 points and eight rebounds. He helped the Cavs rally past the Heat after trailing by 22 points late in the third quarter.

Plenty are wondering if Porter could find his way into the starting lineup? The rookie guard has flashed his potential throughout the season.

“We’ve had conversations about it as a group,” Bickerstaff said. “We talked about it initially when I first took over that we will experiment with some lineups. We’ll leave him in a position where he’s comfortable.”

Porter is averaging 14.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in his last eight games. He’s shooting 48 percent from the field and 45 percent from 3-point range over that span.

“The minutes and experience matter more (than starting),” Bickerstaff said. “We’re trying to put five man lineups on the floor that can be the best that they can possibly be. That’s most important, but those guys have to play. Whether they start or come off the bench. The only way you get better in this league is by playing every single night against the highest level of competition and gaining that experience.”