Suffering a slight knee injury two games ago, Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao is officially deemed a “game-time decision” for the team’s upcoming back-to-back set against the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks.
At Friday morning’s shootaround, Cavs head coach Byron Scott stated that Varejao was improving, but that the team could err on the cautionary side.
“Honestly, I’m thinking about keeping him out no matter what,” said Scott. “That’s my feeling. Even the game where he hurt the knee, he came back and played. But I know that he wants to play, but I told Andy that even if they clear him, it’s going to be my decision, so we’ll see how he feels tonight.”
The team is very much aware of Varejao’s injury history and wants to make sure that they even limit the bumps and bruises where possible. Rookie center Tyler Zeller will likely start in Varejao’s place in the event he remains inactive. Zeller, now playing without a protective mask, finished with 20 points and three rebounds in his first taste of starting in the NBA.
“I thought [Tyler] played well,” said Scott. “He played a physical brand of basketball and was aggressive on both ends of the floor. I thought he did some of the things that we had talked about prior to the game — he took those words to heart.”
The Cavaliers also called up power forward Jon Leuer from the NBDL in order to provide additional depth.