Rumor Roundup: Kyrie, Cavaliers, Celtics

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A look at the latest news, views and moves from around the world of pro hoops:

Per The Athletic: "Kyle Korver out again. Same tendon problem in left foot. He's hopeful he won't be out as long this time. Trying tricks with pads in shoes."

Per ESPN: "Boston is now tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Ten days until the final head-to-head meeting between the teams at TD Garden."

Per "Tyronn Lue's recent starting lineup change has given Kyrie Irving a substantial new responsibility: defending the point guard."

Per "Lue spoke about having a secret plan to fix the defense, but even admitted he's not confident things will change. Irving will be a big part of that."

Per "With J.R. Smith in the starting lineup, Irving needs to be much better at the point of attack. Lue said putting Smith on the point guard is "not something we like to do." That puts the pressure on Irving. Given his reputation as a subpar defender, he will be in the opponent's crosshairs." (Full report.)

Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "In March, Cavs’ foes are shooting 41.9 percent, second highest of any month this season. That doesn’t necessarily translate into wins and losses; they allowed a season-high 42.5 in February, when the Cavs went a league-best 9-2. This month the Cavs are 6-8 heading into road games Monday in San Antonio and Thursday in Chicago."

Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "We’ve got to hold back,” Lue said. “We can’t show our hand early because these are some good teams and we don’t want them to be able to come into a series and be able to adjust to what we do. We just have to be able to play our normal defense until we get there and then we will see what happens." (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: "Larry Sanders has played in one game with the Charge, and his final numbers were so lousy it’s probably best not to keep repeating them." (Full report.)

Per Game Preview: Cavaliers at Spurs

">Amico Hoops: "While Gregg Popovich has raised some eyebrows in the league office by continuously sharing his strong political views, he's continued to do a masterful job on the sidelines." (Game Preview: Cavaliers at Spurs

">Full preview.)

Per the Boston Globe: "Boston still has eight games left, and playoff positioning is not handed out with eight games left. So this position means very little now. But Brad Stevens and the Celtics are most pleased because their push to the top of the conference is a real indicator that they are playing quite well."

Per the Boston Globe: "They have now won 14 of their last 15 home games, and, of course, they are butting heads with Cleveland atop the conference standings. But that part does not matter much to them, at least not yet." (Full report.)

Per the Boston Globe: "Marcus Smart’s importance to the Celtics’ defense and their effort level is unquestioned. He is becoming one of their more indispensable players because of those little things."

Per the Boston Globe: "Smart may never become a pure scorer or even a dependable shooter, but he will win the Celtics at least one playoff game this spring with those critical plays." (Full report.)

Per "As the Detroit Pistons continue their nosedive, questions linger over whether players have tuned out their coach Stan Van Gundy."

Per "Players have appeared unresponsive to Van Gundy of late, from Stanley Johnson walking away from his coach during a game last week against Phoenix to visible sparring with players."

Per "Asked Wednesday after a blowout loss at Chicago, Van Gundy said he was unsure whether players had stopped listening to him. Then Friday, when asked if his players had given up, he replied: 'I don't know, you'd have to ask them.'" (Full report.)

Per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "The Hawks backup point guard position continues to be under evaluation."

Per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "While both Jose Calderon and Malcolm Delaney could play down the stretch and in the playoffs, it’s likely the Hawks will settle on one for fill the primary backup role." (Full report.)

Per the Philadelphia Inquirer: "As much as the 76ers try to paint a positive picture, things don’t appear to be good with Jahlil Okafor’s right knee."

Per the Philadelphia Inquirer: "One would assume that the Sixers would be better off just shutting down the big man for the rest of the season. Okafor keeps saying that team is being “super cautious.'" (Full report.)

Per FanRag Sports: "Green Bay's Kerem Kanter will test the NBA Draft process without an agent before transferring, per a source." (Kanter is the brother of Thunder big man Enes Kanter.)

Amico Hoops will be posting a full list of NBA draft early-entree candidates Monday evening.

The Pistons have recalled rookie big man Henry Ellenson from the Grand Rapids Drive, per the team.

The Spurs have assigned Davis Bertans and Bryn Forbes to the Austin Spurs, per the team.

The Mavericks have recalled Manny Harris and Jarrod Uthoff from the Texas Legends, per the team.

The Pelicans have recalled Cheick Diallo from the Greensboro Swarm, per the team.

The Grizzlies have recalled Wade Baldwin and Deyonta Davis from the Iowa Energy, per the team.

The Rockets have recalled Chinanu Onuaku, Isaiah Taylor and Troy Williams from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, per the team.

Game Preview: Cavaliers at Spurs