“Tristan [Thompson] has been a big part of what we do. I hated having that conversation, but it was great,” [Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn] Lue said. “He was phenomenal. That’s what it’s all about. You hate having those conversations, but he was great. He was like, ‘Man, whatever you need me to do, Coach. I’ll just go for Sixth Man of the Year. I understand what’s going on.’ … When you have those talks, usually they don’t go that good. But he was great about it.”
Thompson finished 10th in Sixth Man of the Year voting in 2015-16, when he played 48 of 82 games off the bench at center behind Timofey Mozgov. He became a starter for the entirety of Cleveland’s championship run through the 2016 playoffs.
“I’m going to go for Sixth Man of the Year, put myself in position to do that,” Thompson said after the scrimmage. “Just play hard, though. I’m not going to look too much into it, but if you’re going to come off the bench, might as well have a little goal — and I feel like with the second unit we have and the energy that I bring off the bench, I’ll put myself in pretty good position. Especially when you win.”
Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN
Bobby Portis Apologizes to Bulls for Mirotic Fight
Bobby Portis has apologized to his Bulls teammates for getting into a fight that left Nikola Mirotic with facial fractures and a concussion. “He didn’t address us today, but he did address the team before so that was taken care of,” Bulls swingman Justin Holiday said after Friday’s practice.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg acknowledged that Portis’ apology took place during a team meeting but did not want to go into specific details about his message. “I’ll keep that between the team,” Hoiberg said, “as far as exactly what was said in that meeting.”
Source: Nick Friedell of ESPN
Joel Embiid Still Not Cleared for Back-to-Back Games
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid said he has not been cleared to play back-to-back games and does not expect to be in the lineup Saturday at Toronto.
Embiid was in the starting lineup for the home opener Friday night against the Boston Celtics, scoring 11 points to go along with 14 rebounds in 28 minutes as Philadelphia lost 102-92. Asked after Friday’s game if he was OK with not playing Saturday night, Embiid replied, “Um I’m not OK with it but we have a plan in place and we have to follow it.”
Dennis Smith Jr. Out for Next Two Games With Knee Injury
Dennis Smith Jr. will miss at least two games due to swelling in the left knee that the Dallas Mavericks’ prized rookie point guard had surgically repaired two years ago.
Smith was a late scratch before Friday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings and will not travel with the Mavericks for Saturday’s road game against the Houston Rockets.
Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN