Tristan Thompson has a solid chance to obtain a fifth- and sixth-straight double-double as the Cavaliers have ruled Anderson Varejao out for the remainder of the weekend with a bruised knee.
The Cavaliers will host the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night before traveling to Brooklyn to face the new-look Nets on Saturday. They have won two-straight games for the first time this season and continue to hold their All-Star hopeful out as a precaution. Varejao injured his knee in the team’s December 18 loss to the Toronto Raptors.
“I don’t think the injury is more serious [than initially believed,” said head coach Byron Scott during Friday morning’s shootaround. “The spot where he got hit is such a tender area that it is just taking more time to heal than we thought.”
In Varejao’s absence, the team has been starting rookie center Tyler Zeller alongside the 6-foot-9-inch Thompson who has averaged 10.5 points, 12.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots. Samardo Samuels, a player who has subbed in both center and power forward positions, has been assigned to the NBDL’s Canton Charge.
[Related: The two faces of Tyler Zeller]