SACRAMENTO – Injuries forced another lineup change for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They also create opportunities.
Sources tell cleveland.com that swingman Brodric Thomas will make his first NBA start on Saturday night against the Sacramento Kings.
With Jarrett Allen out of the game due to a concussion suffered early in Friday’s 100-86 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Cavaliers having no other true center following the trade of JaVale McGee and the purchase of Andre Drummond, the Head coach JB Bickerstaff will start Saturday’s game with a small lineup featuring Thomas at 3. Thomas will be joined by Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, Isaac Okoro and Larry Nance Jr.
“We have to play with the guys we have available,” Bickerstaff said a little over an hour before kickoff. “With the trade and stuff, and Jarrett hurt obviously limits us there. But we will put five guys out there and we hope they will compete. “
Sources say the Cavs considered taking a different path, pairing Dean Wade and Nance together on the front court, a combination that had some running on Friday. But both are expected to get plenty of minutes in the 5 and Bickerstaff thought it made more sense to stagger them. Additionally, the Kings often rely on a three-guard lineup with De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield.
6-foot-5, 185-pound Thomas has played 10 total games in his NBA career, including six since signing a back-and-forth contract with Cleveland, and joined the NBA team after the conclusion. of the G League season.
In 20 minutes on Friday, Thomas scored five points, all at the free throw line, to go with three rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. The 24-year-old undrafted rookie is averaging 4.3 points, 1.2 assists and 1.0 rebounds with the Cavs.
Although Cleveland added 7-footer Isaiah Hartenstein in McGee’s deal with Denver, the youngster is not yet ready to make his Cavaliers debut. Hartenstein completed his physical and joined the team in Sacramento on Saturday night after a long flight. He is expected to be up to speed enough for the final of the road trip against Utah on Monday.
New Cavs face masks for sale: This is where you can buy Cleveland Cavaliers-themed face covers for coronavirus protection, including a single mask ($ 14.99) and a 3-pack ($ 24.99). All NBA profits were donated to charities.
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