Game 63: Cavs at Spurs
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: The Spurs have the second best record in the NBA and the top mark in the Western Conference. They've won seven in a row after Sunday's game.
Gregg Popovich will garner many Coach of the Year votes. He's won the award just once, in 2002-03. Maybe that's why he's so cantankerous with the media. He can be downright rude at times.
I've always admired him, however. He doesn't bow to anyone in the league. He does his own thing. He's the longest tenured coach in the four major sports.
Pop decided to rest future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan against the Cavs. They didn't need him, as they shot 54.5 percent from the field.
Guard Manu Ginobili came off the bench and scored a game-high 20 points and dished out three assists. He made 9 of 12 field goals. Age is creeping up on the veteran, but he knows how to play the game.
Very few expected the Spurs to be the top seed in the West this year. I'm still sticking with Oklahoma City to come out of the West, but the Spurs are going to be difficult to eliminate from the playoffs.
The Cavs, meanwhile, have just three games left in the regular season. Two of them are on the road. They are in Memphis on Monday and in Chicago on Thursday. In case, you didn't hear, Thursday is now a national holiday, at least in Cleveland. It's the first day of the NFL draft.
The Cavs should have checked with the Browns before scheduling a game on the holiday. It is the last game of the season for the Cavs, and good riddance. This losing stuff is for the birds.
Coach Byron Scott has been hinting that guard Kyrie Irving won't play in the remaining three games. I think he will, for some reason. He really wants to close out strong.
Forward Antawn Jamison paced the Cavs on Sunday with 21 points, while Irving had 19 points and three assists.
Scott stuck with Manny Harris as the starting shooting guard and he responded with 14 points and four rebounds. I like his energy. He's playing with confidence and swagger. The Cavs should ride that out.
Spurs guard Tony Parker is being mentioned as an MVP candidate - not a winner, mind you, but he's going to get top 5 votes. Well, his numbers are very similar to Irving's. Parker is averaging 18.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 0.98 steals. He's shooting 47.8 percent from the field.
Irving is averaging 18.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.00 steals. He's shooting 46.5 percent from the field.
What does that tell you? Maybe this Irving kid isn't half bad?
Forward Alonzo Gee returned after a three-game absence with a sprained left ankle. He had 10 points and five rebounds in 19 minutes. It was good to have him back. He brings such energy. I'd continue to bring him off the bench for the rest of the season, and next year as well.
Newly acquired D.J. Kennedy didn't play for the Cavs.
UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Memphis at 8 p.m. Monday at FedExForum.
SF Anthony Parker (6-6, 210) vs. Kawhi Leonard (6-6, 225)
PF Antawn Jamison (6-9, 235) vs. Boris Diaw (6-8, 235)
C Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. DeJuan Blair (6-7, 270)
SG Manny Harris (6-5, 185) vs. Danny Green (6-6, 210)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Tony Parker (6-2, 180)
Cavs – G Daniel Gibson, C Semih Erden
Spurs - G Cory Joseph
David Jones, Kevin Scott, Michael Smith