Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas gingerly walked into the Cavaliers locker room an hour before Sunday’s game. It had been decided the day before that he would not play because of lower back pain.
The game against the Bulls on Sunday won’t be the only one Ilgauskas will miss.
“I’ll be out for at least two weeks,” Ilgauskas said. He has suffered from lower back pain for most of the season and the pain finally came to a head Saturday.
â€œ’ve been fighting it for the past two or three months, and it just got worse over the last few days,” Ilgauskas said. “I had a hard time getting out of the car [on Saturday]. Back pain is the [worst] pain there is.”
So instead of playing and gritting through the agony, Ilgauskas will use medication and rest. He wants to rest now and be pain-free later in the season.
“We still have a month and a half before the playoffs, and hopefully, I won’t have to deal with this,” Ilgauskas said. “Those games will mean a lot more.”
It could also mean a lot more to get some healthy bodies. Add Ilgauskas to the list of injuries that has plagued the Cavs all season. Daniel “Boobie” Gibson and Sasha Pavlovic could miss at least two more weeks with their injuries.
“It [stinks] because we can’t get the team together,” Ilgauskas said. “We’ve been taking turns in or out of the lineup because someone’s getting hurt. Hopefully, this is it.”
It didn’t take much for Hughes to make Bulls fans and Chicago media realized what they’ve got in this trade.
The Chicago Sun-Times columnist, Carol Slezak, writes:
“Just when you thought the season couldn’t get any worse, the Bulls hit have hit a new low. As if the weekend losses to the Wizards and Cavaliers weren’t bad enough, newcomer Larry Hughes decided to elaborate on his time in Cleveland. I wish he hadn’t.”
Carol is refering to Hughes comment to Lisa Salter before the game Sunday at the Q.
“Say what you will about Ben Wallace, whose contract essentially was swapped for Hughes’ contract, but at least the big guy cared about winning. At least he was proud of his championship ring. In Hughes, the Bulls have a $12 million-a-year player who couldn’t care less about winning. In fact, winning made Hughes unhappy.”
Hughes on his bad shot selection:
Lebron James called Hughes a “high-volume shooter” following the Cavaliers’ win on Sunday.
“I don’t know what that meant or the context around it,” Hughes said with a laugh Monday at the Berto Center. “But I shot 20 times and he shot 29. And I played more minutes.”
Hughes also respnded to the bad shot selection during his time in Cleveland:
“I think I definitely forced some shots because I wasn’t getting an opportunity to get easy shots,” he said. “When there are not any plays run for you, you tend to force some things to get yourself going. I definitely think I tried to force the issue to get going and make them see that I can score.”
LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant were named the NBA’s Players of the Month for February.
This is Lebron James second consecutive month after leading the league in scoring during February. He averaged 30.2 points and added 8.9 rebounds with a conference-best 8.5 assists,
Also, Lebron became the youngest player to reach 10,000 career points in last week’s loss to Boston.
On the other hand, Kobe scored at least 30 points on eight occasions and netted more than 40 points twice during February.
Cavaliers have signed forward Kaniel Dickens and guard Billy Thomas to their second 10-day contracts.
Dickens has played nine minutes in three games. Thomas has appeared in four games with Cleveland and scored all nine of his points against Washington on Feb. 22. Both players signed their first 10-day contracts on Feb. 22.
Ira Newble was waived by the Sonics andÂ the Cavaliers might be interested in signing him after the 30 days league rules.
Lisa Salter from ABC interviewed Larry Hughes before the game. This is what Larry said:
â€œI play to enjoy myself, some people take this the wrong way, but winning a championship is not what I base everything on. I was given an opportunity to play basketball, travel around and have fun doing it and thatâ€™s what I want to do. I wouldnâ€™t take being unhappy and not being myself and winning.
I would rather enjoy myself with 18,000-20,000 people watching the game and the people sending fan mail and those things and be happyâ€¦I didnâ€™t come here to play the point guard, thatâ€™s just it. I came here to run the wing, just like he was running the other wing. I was asked to sacrifice for the team to win and for everybody, I guess, get paid. That is what was told to me and I wasnâ€™t happy with that.â€
That is an interesting quote from Larry. You can interpret his quote many different ways. But to my understanding, NBA players get paid to win games not to have fun. Fans come to watch their team win not to watch you Larry have fun playing basketball and making more than most fans make in their life time.
Also, Brian Windhorst brought up a good point on his blog:
“Larry earned $4 million in bonuses over the last two years because the Cavs hit win targets in his contract. The more the team won, the more he did get paid.”
Let’s not forget that he earned that money while sitting on the bench recovering from his numerous injuries.
“in the playoff run last season, even before he got hurt, I didnâ€™t get the sense that he was happy. I never saw that joy from him, so I think this is probably more than just lip service, I think he really means it.” Brian said.
Wally Szczerbiak missed Cleveland’s game against MinnesotaÂ to be with his wife, Shannon, who is expecting the couple’s third child.
Szczerbiak could also miss Sunday afternoon’s home game against the Bulls.
After 17 minutes of playing time with the Seattle SuperSonics, Ira Newble was waived on Friday. Ira was part of the deal that sent him along with Donyell Marshall to Seattle.
Ira is free to sign with any team after 30 days per league rules. Several teams are interested in Newble, including the Atlanta Hawks and the Dallas Mavericks.
Former Cavalier Scot Pollard didnâ€™t think the recent trade was a homerun.Â â€œI know Ben Wallaceâ€, Pollard told the Boston Globe.Â â€œI know what he does.Â And to me, I wouldnâ€™t have given up Drew Gooden for what Ben Wallace does.Â Itâ€™s so much more money with Wallace, and youâ€™re locked into a $60 million contract.Â I just think they gave up too much to get Ben Wallace.Â Nothing against Ben Wallace, but knowing Cleveland, the team was working well enough.â€