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Zeller Expected to Return Soon, C.J. Miles to Bench

Tyler Zeller is expected to return to the lineup tonight against Oklahoma City. Also, coach Byron Scott is expected to drop CJ Miles from the rotation after a series of dreadful performances.


According to Bob Finnan of the News-Herald, center Tyler Zeller was expected to return against the Oklahoma City Thunder after missing two games with a concussion and a broken cheekbone, but that didn't happen.

It does hurt not having rookie center Tyler Zeller with the second team. He is expected back in the lineup for Sunday's game at Oklahoma City wearing a mask. He broke his cheekbone and suffered a concussion Nov. 5.

Whenever he does come back, Zeller will be a welcome addition back to a second unit that has only been utilizing one forward off the bench in his absence. Prior to his injury against the Los Angeles Clippers, Zeller had been putting together the best performance of his short career with 15 points and 7 rebounds in 24 minutes of action. While I expect a bit of an adjustment period for him while he learns to play with the mask, he is one of the few effective assets the Cavaliers have the luxury of bringing off the bench this season and the best offensive forward on a unit sorely lacking offensive skill. Zeller and Samuels will probably split minutes until Zeller heals fully, meaning Cavs' fans can expect to see a four man frontcourt rotation for the next couple weeks.

Also in his article, Finnan mentions that C.J. Miles was expected to be dropped from the rotation against OKC and may be for the forseeable future.

Expect Scott to drop C.J. Miles out of his rotation. His only other option is playing Omri Casspi with the second unit at small forward. Miles is averaging 4.5 points and shooting 23.4 percent from the field and 21.7 percent from the 3-point arc. Ouch.

Miles has been nothing short of atrocious so far with the Cavaliers, so this can't be a surprise to anyone. His shooting has been abysmal, and I can't say that I think his defensive reputation has followed him from Utah to Cleveland so far. He had been ill earlier this week which is something of an excuse, but at this point he is a liability on the court and needs to be benched until he picks it back up.

Omri Casspi will probably receive some minutes in his place. Casspi has played in two games this year, most recently against Golden State. Against Golden State he made a few head-scratching offensive decisions that made me want him to be immediately benched, but was overall solid defensively on the wing, mostly against Richard Jefferson. He is a stationary spot-up shooter on offense, so if he can stick to that and actually start knocking down shots (this may be difficult for him), then he can become a useful member of the Cavaliers' rotation.