Links to the Present: April 16, 2012

April 16th, 2012 by Colin McGowan

“Kyrie Irving suffered a shoulder sprain against the Bucks and then re-injured it against the Spurs. He definitely won’t play against the Pistons on Tuesday, but there’s a *chance* he plays later this week. Varejao broke his wrist a longggg time ago and it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll play this week.” [Conrad Kaczmarek]

“With Semih Erden failing to live up to expectations, Ryan Hollins refusing to rebound and Samardo Samuels having an ongoing battle with inconsistency, the position has been turned over to the 6-foot-9-inch Tristan Thompson.  The fourth-overall pick has welcomed all challenges, the latest of which involves playing against opposing centers, and has seen his game grow in stride. His otherwise dreadful free throw percentage has improved month-over-month*, and he has even started to record the occasional assist — this speaks volumes for a player with a season assist rate of 3.1 percent.” [Scott Sargent]

“Cavaliers forward Antawn Jamison has been named a finalist for the NBA Sportsmanship Award. The 35-year-old will represent the Central Division and be included in a field with: Dallas’ Jason Kidd, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, Miami’s Shane Battier, Minnesota’s Luke Ridnour and New York’s Jeremy Lin. The finalists were selected by a five-member panel of former players.” [Tom Reed]