Sasha Pavlovic broke his nose in the fourth quarter of Cleveland’s Game 1 win over Atlanta on Tuesday night.
Pavlovic was elbowed by Hawks F Zaza Pachulia in the fourth quarter. He left practice early yesterday and was fitted with a mask at the Cleveland Clinic. Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown expects Pavlovic to be available for Game 2 tonight.
It has been a day full with rumors and speculations but ultimately the Cavaliers stuck with their plan to stand pat at the NBA trading deadline.Wally Sczcerbiak was mentioned in most of the rumors but the biggest one that captured the media attention for most of the day was the Cavaliers interest in acquiring Shaquille O’Neal from the Phoenix Suns.
According to Cavaliers beat writer Brian Windhorst, the Cavaliers offered Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic for Shaquille O’Neal, but the Suns were asking for Szczerbiak. The Cavs then tried to find another team to get involved, but couldn’t make anything work.
If the Suns were willing to accept Wallace and Pavlovic, they would slice $5.5 million from next season’s books, as Wallace’s salary decreases from $14.5 million this season to $14 million in 2009-10 and because only $1.5 million of Pavlovic’s $5 million salary next season is guaranteed.
If the Cavaliers substituted Wallace with Szczerbiak and Pavlovic then Phoenix would erase $19.5 million from next season’s payroll.
“Szczerbiak said he had been a little bit nervous the last couple days and was reading newspaper and Internet reports. His reaction matched that of the rest of his teammates, who were lighthearted and joking around once the deadline finally came and went.”
The Cavaliers lost again (90-86) to the Celtics in their third preseason game and again no Ben, Sasha and Delonte.
After trailing to the Cavaliers 81-74 early in the fourth, the Celtics were able to rebound and win led by Leon Powe with 17 points, including the go ahead basket with just two minutes left in the fourth to put the Celtics ahead 85-84.
Lebron James had 12 points in 18 minutes and Daniel Gibson led the Cavaliers with 14 points. Jawad Williams added 13 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had six rebounds.
Ben Wallace has been dealing with stiffness and soreness with his back and the team is already showing some concerns. It caused him to miss three practices last week and kept him out of the game against the CelticsÂ and didn’t travel with the team.
“I’m concerned, but I’m concerned about any of our guys who is hurt,” Cavs coach Mike Brown said. “But at the same time, it is a chance for the young guys to play.”
“With back problems, only rest can help,” LeBron James said. “Hopefully the training staff can get him as close to 100 percent as possible. We need our whole group to do what we want to do.”
Sasha Pavlovic sat out a second straight game with a sprained ankle but he took part in shootaround. Delonte West is still absense for personal reasons.