Hello and welcome to the Evening News.
As the playoffs are now officially under way, we’ll keep you updated every evening. What’s happening today?
Here’s the latest news from around the league:
Cavaliers interested in trading for Aldridge.
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers have had serious internal discussions about pursuing a trade for Lamarcus Aldridge.
Wojnarowski dismissed the likelihood of a trade by citing that Cleveland values their two previous top-five picks — Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters — more than other team around the league would in a trade. However, with the Cavaliers in line for another early lottery pick and with plenty of available cap space to work with, Cleveland’s desire to add a marquee name (like an Aldridge) will be an intriguing subplot of the NBA’s offseason.
Aldridge has made the last two All-Star teams and averaged 21.1 points along with a career high 9.1 rebounds for the season. Still, Portland seems to be several pieces away from becoming legitimate contenders.
If the Blazers were to consider trading Aldridge, the would almost certainly require an early lottery pick and several young-but-established players in return.
Jordan Hill back for Game 2.
On Wednesday afternoon, Adrian Wojnarowski also reported that Jordan Hill will play tonight in Los Angeles’ Game 2 matchup with the Spurs.
Hill tore a muscle in his hip on January 6th but has worked determinedly to get back onto the court for the postseason. Hill, 25, is not expected to play significant minutes but should bring necessary depth to the Lakers’ weak frontline.
Before his injury, Hill was averaging 6.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in only 15.8 minutes per game.
In early mid-March, Mike D’Antoni said to ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Dave McMenamin, “Even if [Hill] could come back, to get back in shape and get in the rotation, that would be tough,” D’Antoni said. “That would be a miracle.”
Amar’e hopes to return for the second round.
In case you forgot, the New York Knicks have gained their 2-0 lead over the Boston Celtics without even having their highest paid player log a single minute of playoff action. Amar’e Stoudemire has been out with a knee injury since early March. Regardless, the Knicks have thrived in his absence and have actually looked stronger with his replacement — Kenyon Martin.
While Stoudemire played efficiently and well in limited minutes from January to March, the team clearly struggled to overcome his lapses on the defensive end. Still, Stoudemire thinks he can valuably contribute in the playoffs if and when he gets cleared by doctors to play.
According to Peter Botte or the New York Daily News, Stoudemire is optimistic he can return in time for the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals if everything goes correctly with his rehabilitation.
“If everything goes great, then I’m willing to play, and sooner than later, hopefully, if everything continues to improve. So we’ll see,” Stoudemire said. “I’m doing pretty good, actually. I’m progressing well, for the most part. Everything is on schedule, for the most part, as far as the recovery.”
Stoudemire has been supportive from the sidelines in the Knicks’ first two games and willingly came off of the bench in the games he played in before the injury. Still, with Martin’s emergence off the bench and with the Knicks’ ability to score without Stoudemire, there are rightful concerns about how his reimplementation into the rotation would affect the team’s effectiveness and chemistry.
At the moment, all Stoudemire is truly concerned with is winning.
“If we continue to win, that gives me more time to really heal up 100 percent,” said Stoudemire. “That’s kind of the blessing that we have right now.”