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With the playoffs just days away Fred Warner Jersey , 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.”
If Korver isn’t ready, Rodney Hood, one of four players acquired at the trade deadline, will likely start. He’s been slowed by a sore left Achilles Shayne Gostisbehere Jersey , but Lue said Hood’s ”ready to go.”
As for Cleveland’s reserves, Jordan Clarkson, J.R. Smith and Jose Calderon are in the rotational mix, with forwards Tristan Thompson and Larry Nance Jr. being used depending on whom Indiana has on the floor.
One of the holdovers from Cleveland’s past three Finals teams, Thompson played extended minutes in the second half of Wednesday’s loss to New York while Nance rested, a sign that Lue might be leaning toward him playing more.
Thompson was excused from Thursday’s practice because of the birth of his daughter.
Lue trusts all his players. He’s had no choice following a turbulent regular season in which he didn’t always know who would be available until moments before tipoff. But Lue has depth and intends to use it.
Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley’s philosophy in the playoffs was: ”You rotate eight players. You play seven. You use six and you trust five.”
Not Lue. Not this year.
”You usually go nine,” he said. ”I think we’ve been nine in the past, but I think it’s going to be important to go 10 for us because I like Clarkson being on the floor with a point guard, so that makes us play 10.”
Hill, who has plenty of playoff experience with San Antonio, Indiana and Utah, said Cleveland’s versatility may give the Cavs an advantage.
”I’ve been on a team that played a 10-man rotation in the playoffs, but I haven’t been on a team this deep, so I think we’ll have a lot of great guys that we can throw out there on the court with big lineups, small lineups,” he said. ”I think we can play any type of style.”
For Hill, the matchup against the Pacers represents a homecoming Olli Maatta Jersey , as he played for IUPUI and spent five years with the Pacers. It’s also a chance to win a championship with James, a former playoff nemesis.
Hill played on those Pacers teams that were eliminated in three straight postseasons by James and the Miami Heat.
That can’t happen this time.
”The good thing is we got the best player in the world playing for us,” Hill said. ”So I’m very excited about that. I don’t got to get put out by him this year, which I did a lot in my career. So, I’m happy to be on the other side.”

For most of their half-century in existence, the Phoenix Suns have coveted a big-time center.
In 1969, they lost the coin flip with Milwaukee for Lew Alcindor, now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and chose Neal Walk at No. 2. The closest they came was Alvan Adams, an All-Star on some very good teams. Shaquille O’Neal made a cameo appearance late in his career.
But a big, young franchise center to build around eluded them – until now.
With the first overall pick in the draft for the first time in franchise history, the Suns believe they have their man in 7-foot-1, 250-pound Deandre Ayton, whose size, athleticism and multiple skills made him the obvious No. 1 overall pick Thursday night.
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough called it ”a historic night for the franchise.”
There was a big cheer from the crowd gathered at Talking Stick Resort Arena for a party to celebrate the highest pick in franchise history. They’ve chosen second overall twice.
”Having my name called to be the first pick for the Phoenix Suns was mind-blowing,” Ayton said. ”Having all the confidence and leading up to that point when I saw (NBA Commissioner) Adam Silver came out, I was just waiting for my name Corey Linsley Jersey , and when he called it, my mind went blank. … and I saw the reaction on my mom’s face. It was just priceless.”
The Suns also got the 10th overall pick, moving up six spots in a trade with Philadelphia to get guard/forward Mikal Bridges of Villanova. Phoenix sent the No. 16 pick, guard Zhaire Smith of Texas Tech, to the 76ers along with Miami’s unprotected first-round pick in 2021.
Ayton will join Devin Booker and Josh Jackson as the core of young talent that the Suns hope will pull them out of their long decline. Phoenix has missed the playoffs the last eight seasons and their 21-61 record last season was the worst in the NBA and second-worst in franchise history.
”The team in general is a very young and hungry team,” Ayton said. ”We just have to stick together, get a great chemistry and start a winning legacy in Phoenix.”
In Brooklyn for the announcement, Ayton wore a sports jacket with an array of colors on the inside lining.
”There’s a few flags in there,” Ayton said. ”My dad is from Nigeria, my mom is Jamaican and Bahamian, so I’m helping all those countries in one. I’m not just a Bahamian. I’m Nigerian and Jamaican. So I just want to let the world know that.”
Ayton was born in the Bahamas but left at age 12, a basketball prodigy who stayed in several Southern California homes and played with various basketball programs, including a season as a teammate of Marvin Bagley III at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix.
Ayton, a month shy of his 20th birthday, was the Pac-12 player of the year at Arizona last season, averaging 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. But the Wildcats made an early exit in the NCAA Tournament, losing to Buffalo. Ayton also had to tune out the noise from a federal investigation that ensnared an Arizona assistant coach.
But he emerged above the rest in the pre-draft process.
Ayton worked out for only one team Kevin King Jersey , the Suns, and turned on the charm with the media afterward.
Don’t worry, Ayton assured everyone that day, ”I know I’m going No. 1.”
That workout, McDonough said, was the deal-maker.
”He was first on our board coming into the workout,” McDonough said, ”and then he blew us away in the workout, which I think you guys probably gathered from my tone. I’m usually pretty stoic but I was watching a workout that just was incredible.”
McDonough called Ayton ”just a phenomenal physical talent. Watching him play and then working him out and interacting with him just checked every box for us.”
The 6-foot-7 Bridges is a bonus, a third-team All-American and a member of the 2018 all-Final Four team. When the 76ers drafted him, it looked like a feel-good hometown story since he’s from Philadelphia and his mother Tyneeha Rivers was vice president for human resources for the 76ers.
Bridges even appeared at a news conference to talk about staying in Philadelphia.
But the Suns wanted him badly and kept pushing for the deal. Finally, the 76ers agreed and Bridges was bound for the desert.
He said there were no hard feelings about the trade.
”I’m excited. It’s a business and you’ve got a lot of talent going down there,” Bridges said. ”I can’t wait to start this up.”
With the 31st pick in the draft, the first in the second round, Phoenix chose point guard Elie Okobo of France, a 20-year-old sharpshooter who scored 44 in a French playoff game. And with the 59th pick – next-to-last overall – the Suns selected forward George King of Colorado.

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