Thursday's NBA: Cavaliers to use 10-man rotation
Independence, Ohio — With the playoffs just days away, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue typically would have his lineup rotations set by now.
Nothing has been typical about this season for the Cavs.
Lue said Thursday that he plans to use a 10-player rotation for Cleveland’s opening-round series against the Indiana Pacers, but that things could change depending on injuries, matchups and performances.
“I will play 10,” Lue said after the Cavaliers watched film on the Pacers, who went 3-1 against Cleveland this season. “We’ll just see how it looks and if one guy is not great this round, then it might be nine.”
Lue and his staff have been juggling lineups and using different combinations on the floor for months, forced to adjust and re-adjust, first because of injuries and then by a slew of trades that transformed the team.
Lue refused to name his full starting lineup for Sunday’s Game 1.
He revealed previously that four of them will be LeBron James, Kevin Love, Jeff Green and George Hill. The other spot could go to veteran shooter Kyle Korver, who has been slowed by a foot injury and whose status remains uncertain.
“He’s getting better,” Lue said of Korver, who also missed time recently following his brother’s death.
“I’m not sure if he’s 100 percent yet, but he’s getting better and that’s all you can ask for.”
Knicks preaching patience
The New York Knicks are preaching patience but looking for progress.
Jeff Hornacek got caught in the middle.
The Knicks fired their coach early Thursday, shortly after finishing a 29-53 season and 60-104 overall. They lost more than 50 games and missed the playoffs both seasons under Hornacek.
“We looked out and we have a plan for what this team should look like over the next three years or so,” Knicks President Steve Mills said. “We just thought this was an opportunity where we thought it was the right time to make a change.”
Mills and general manager Scott Perry (Wayne State player, UM assistant coach) said they didn’t see enough improvement on the court and enough communication and accountability off it. They informed Hornacek of their decision at the airport after flying home from a season-ending victory in Cleveland.
“We know the roster is not complete, we understand our roster as well as anybody,” Perry said at a news conference at the team’s training facility.
“But again, just in terms of consistency and then a trend I would say toward consistency, Steve and I thought we fell a little bit short in that area.”
Associate head coach Kurt Rambis also was fired.
Orlando fires Vogel
Frank Vogel was brought to Orlando two years ago with hopes he could get the Magic back to the playoffs, and stop the spinning of the revolving door to their coaches’ office.
Neither of those things happened.
Vogel was fired by the Magic on Thursday about 10 hours after the team wrapped up a 25-57 season, its sixth consecutive losing year. Vogel, who had one year left on his contract, went 54-110 in his two years with Orlando.
The Magic haven’t been to the playoffs since Stan Van Gundy’s final season with the team in 2012. Vogel, who had some successful years coaching the Indiana Pacers before going to Orlando, simply didn’t have the roster to change that.
“I have nothing but the utmost respect for Frank Vogel as a coach and a person,” said Magic basketball operations president Jeff Weltman, who met with Vogel to deliver the news. “I know he’ll be a head coach again shortly.”
Weltman didn’t give a timetable for finding a new coach.
“We just have to find that right guy,” he said.