Cavs Notes: Replacing Thompson, the starting lineup and Delly's home

It will take a committee to replace Thompson

James Rapien
December 12, 2018 - 6:14 pm
Dec 10, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Larry Drew tosses the ball back in play in the first quarter during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

© Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Larry Drew and the Cavaliers are getting set for Wednesday night’s matchup against the Knicks.

The team will be without Tristan Thompson, who sprained his left foot during the third quarter of Monday night’s loss to Milwaukee.

“You just have to play the hand that’s dealt to you,” Drew said during his pregame press conference. “That’s what we’ve tried to do. It’s unfortunate – we lose Tristan after the last game. We’ll continue what we’ve been doing all year long, just shuffling guys trying to find right mixtures.”

The right mixture could include Larry Nance in the starting lineup. Most assumed that would be the case, but Drew didn’t commit to it before the game. Instead, he mentioned Ante Žižić and Channing Frye as potential starters, noting that he was concerned about Enes Kanter’s size.

Nance’s role will expand regardless of who starts against the Knicks. It’s something he’s looking forward to.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” Nance said. “Obviously I’ve been trying to show different aspects of my game – bringing the ball up, ball handling, passing, shooting and working on all different facets of it. Now that I get to, hopefully do that more with some more minutes – it will be pretty fun.”

It may be exciting for Nance, but he won’t be able to fill Thompson’s shoes on his own.

“I don’t expect him to be a Tristan Thompson when he’s out there on the floor, but he has to raise his level of play,” Drew said. “All of our big guys have to raise their level of play. Tristan is a warrior – he’s a guy that sets the tone for us, particularly on the glass.”

Other Cavs Notes:

Matthew Dellavedova will make his home return tonight at The Q. He scored 11 points in Monday's game against Milwaukee.

David Nwaba will return tonight after missing multiple weeks with a sore right knee. Drew says he will be on a minutes restriction.

Thompson was in a walking boot before Wednesday’s game against New York.

The Cavs have a cool leg lamp t-shirt giveaway tonight. Check out the shirt below.

Rookie Kevin Knox will start for the Knicks tonight. He was the ninth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The Cavaliers took Collin Sexton eighth overall.

In case you missed it:

I wrote about Nance’s expanded role.

The Cavaliers have another new uniform. Check it out here.