Larry Nance Jr, Tristan Thompson, Rodney Hood to return to Cavs’ lineup
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been playing shorthanded for much of the season and have still remained near the top of the Eastern Conference thanks to the stellar play of star LeBron James. On Friday evening, however, they’ll get one step closer to having a healthy roster for the stretch run before the NBA playoffs begin.
Ahead of Friday’s matchup against the visiting Phoenix Suns, acting head coach Larry Drew announced that the injured trio of Tristan Thompson, Larry Nance Jr., and Rodney Hood would be suiting up and coming off the bench with minutes restrictions, via Cleveland.com. Their return would make the first time that Nance Jr. and Hood get to play with star Kevin Love, who missed nearly two months with a fractured hand.
“I really didn’t want to disrupt the starting five that we have out there right now and those guys will be playing limited minutes, so I wanted to get them slowly back and acclimated to what we’re doing,” Drew said. “There’s a chance that there could be some early substitutions to get the guys in there. I’m not ruling that out, but right now I just kind of want to stay with the flow, stay with what we’ve done the last couple of ballgames and then we’ll probably after tonight we’ll see as far as where we stand as far as starters are concerned.”
Thompson has been out since March 5th dealing with an aknle sprain, Nance Jr. has been out since March 15th dealing with a hamstring strain, and Hood has been out since March 17th dealing with a back issue.
Coach Drew added that he was not sure if head coach Tyronn Lue, who has been excused from the team to deal with an illness, would be able to rejoin the team for their upcoming three-game road trip starting Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets. Lue has missed the last two games as he tries to deal with the illness that has bothered him all season long.
There is no update on Kyle Korver’s timetable to return to the Cavs. He is healthy, but is away from the team following the unfortunate passing of his younger brother, Kirk, a few days ago.