Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek has managed to wipe the smile off the face of the man known as “Cheese.’’
Mindaugas Kuzminskas, the forgotten Lithuanian who became a fan favorite last season as a rookie, has been inactive for all eight games, donning a suit on the bench. Kuzminskas admits to being sad about his predicament and wondering about his future with the organization.
Kuzminskas, who battled a calf strain in training camp, is nicknamed “Cheese’’ because he always has a smile. Not this season after excelling at the European Championships, averaging 15.4 points.
“It’s kind of disappointing,’’ Kuzminskas told The Post on Friday night at the Garden. “Last season I had ups and downs but I thought I did pretty good job. Expected a different going to the season especially after a great summer in the championships. I was feeling I was doing better than some of the NBA guys in them. And then to come here, you’re inactive. You’re nothing – not in the rotation, not even on the [active] roster.”
Source: Marc Berman of the New York Post
Jimmy Butler (Knee) Sits Out T-Wolves Win Over Raptors
Jimmy Butler sat out Minnesota’s 115-109 victory Saturday night against Toronto with a sore right knee.
Butler is averaging 21.7 points per game for the revamped Timberwolves, who entered with the fourth-best record in the Western Conference. Minnesota had lost two straight before hosting the Raptors. Nemanja Bjelica started in Butler’s place.
Celtics’ Kyrie Irving Set to Return From Shoulder Injury
Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving went through the team’s entire off-day practice Saturday and expects to return to game action Sunday against the Orlando Magic after missing one game due to a sore shoulder.
Irving sat out Thursday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers after undergoing tests on a shoulder that had been bothering him recently. An MRI revealed no structural damage, but Irving will continue getting treatment even as he returns to game action.
Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN
LeBron After Loss to OKC: We Can Get Bounced Early in Playoffs
Following one of the most inept defensive performances in Cavaliers history, LeBron James said his team looked primed for a short postseason appearance, barring any changes.
The Cavs fell 148-124 to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, tying a franchise record for most points allowed in regulation. They are 3-9 since Christmas Day. “Playoffs? We can’t even start thinking about that, not the way we’re playing right now,” James said. “We could easily get bounced early in the playoffs if they started next weekend. Haven’t even began thinking about the postseason.”
Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN