Varejao, Miles out as Cavaliers host Kings.
FEB 11, 2014 6:12p ET
Venue: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland.
TV: 7 p.m., FOX Sports Ohio; NBA TV (Cavaliers Live pregame starts at 6:30 p.m. on FOX Sports Ohio)
-- Starting center Anderson Varejao and reserve shooting guard C.J. Miles (foot) are both out for the Cavaliers. When asked what is hurting Varejao, coach Mike Brown said "his whole body." The Kings have no injuries to report.
-- We all know what happened last time these teams met, and it was nothing good for the Cavaliers. Losing by 44 isn't easy to do, but the Cavs found a way Jan. 12 at Sacramento.
-- The Kings actually have some nice young pieces. Obviously, Cousins is at the top of that list. But Isaiah Thomas always seems to go nuts vs. Kyrie. Thomas was the final pick in the entire draft the same year Irving went first. Thomas may not say it, but he plays like he has something to prove against the Cavs.
-- Kings coach Mike Malone said it did indeed bother him beating old friend Brown by 44. Malone and Brown are tight from their days together with the Cavs, Malone an assistant during Brown's first stint. Kings assistant Chris Jent was also on that staff. "If it weren't for Mike Brown, I wouldn't be in this room talking to you guys," Malone said to the assembled media before the game.
-- When Malone was asked what he enjoyed about his time in Cleveland, he laughed and said, "Being with LeBron (James)."
-- As for the here and now, the Cavs have won two straight. Both of those victories came after acting general manager David Griffin replaced former GM Chris Grant. Neither victory showed the Cavs have an identity yet. They beat the Wizards by playing an up-tempo, opportunistic style. They beat the Grizzlies in a grind-it-out affair. But these days, a win is a win, and the Cavs showed plenty of effort in both.
-- The Cavs are too often awful when they come out of the locker room at halftime. They were like that too often in Brown's (and Malone's) first stint. Most of that is based on personnel, but some of it is just the coach not being heard.
-- I was totally in Brown's corner at the beginning of the season. I admittedly am having some doubts now. But if the Cavs can win their next two (they're at Detroit on Wednesday) heading into the All-Star break, I may start to believe a little more once again. Mostly, I think it's good that Griffin and owner Dan Gilbert have spent some time addressing the team. Brown's voice alone had not been doing the trick. Also, the front office's support of the coach is being heard by the players.
-- Kings rookie guard Ben McLemore is averaging 7.7 games off the bench. He's played in all 51 games, and had even been starting for a while. Former Cavs GM Chris Grant and his staff met with McLemore several times prior to the draft, including once when McLemore hung out at the practice facility until the wee hours of the morning. A lot of insiders felt McLemore was going to be the Cavs' pick at No. 1 overall. Instead, the team went with Anthony Bennett.