Cavs Notes: Delly's back, Drew sticks with lineup

Can the Cavaliers end their nine-game losing streak tonight at The Q?

James Rapien
January 08, 2019 - 11:40 am
Dec 29, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova (18) handles the ball against Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) during the forth quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

© Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

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Independence, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Matthew Dellavedova could return to the court tonight for the Cavaliers after missing the last two games with a foot injury, but he's expecting to play against the Indiana Pacers. Delly rolled his ankle after stepping on an opponent's foot.

“We’ve played a few good halves, but in the second-halves teams really turn up the pressure,” Delly said. “We have to lift another gear in the second half to try to get a win. We have to play the full 48 minutes to get a win. We can’t relax. We can’t have any lapses.”

The Cavs haven't won since December 18. They're a young team that's searching for answers. I asked Delly about the team's confidence going into tonight's game. He paused, before saying “I don’t know. We’ll see tonight.”

It's hard to imagine the team being confident. The injuries, the undisciplined play and ultimately, the losing has snowballed over the past three weeks. Head coach Larry Drew mentioned potentially changing the starting lineup after Saturday's loss to New Orleans. 

“I haven’t fully decided. I did a lot of thinking about it yesterday. With what we’re going through from an injury standpoint, I don’t know if I can, to be perfectly honest,” Drew said on Monday. “But I’ll do some more thinking on it today and we’ll see where we are."

Ultimately, Drew decided to stick was his starters because of health. It's a tough spot for him to be in, but openly admitting health is the reason things are staying the same says a lot about the current state of the Cavaliers. 

Inserting Jordan Clarkson into the starting lineup is one change that could make sense. He is averaging 16.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game this season. Clarkson has been the teams' most consistent scoring option this season. 

"We definitely want to win this one before heading out on a tough road trip," Delly said with a smile.

Other Cavs Notes:

Cameron Payne could make his debut tonight. He signed a 10-day contract with Cleveland on Sunday. He averaged 5.7 points and 2.7 assists in 31 games for Chicago this season. 

The Cavaliers beat the Pacers 92-91 in Indianapolis on December 18. They'll try to duplicate result tonight at The Q. The Pacers have won six out of their last seven games. Myles Turner is out tonight, which impacts Indy's advantage. 

Kevin Love looked good in the media portion of shootaround. He shot free throws and did a variety of shooting drills. Love said he was weeks away from returning and had yet to run after undergoing toe surgery in November.