Isaiah Hartenstein to start vs. Utah Jazz in Cleveland Cavaliers debut; Taurean Prince returns from shoulder injury


SALT LAKE CITY -- Sometimes things don’t go according to plan.

Isaiah Hartenstein, who joined the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday evening, hours before their game against the Sacramento Kings, will start at center in his Cavs debut Monday night against the Utah Jazz, sources tell cleveland.com.

Cleveland will use its 22nd different starting lineup, going with Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, Isaac Okoro, Dean Wade and Hartenstein, sources say. No one in the new-look starting group is over the age of 24.

Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff announced that Larry Nance Jr. has been ruled out because of an illness not related to COVID-19. Nance woke up feeling sick and did not participate in shootaround Monday morning. That leaves the Cavaliers short on centers, as Jarrett Allen will miss his second straight game due to a concussion. Bickerstaff was planning to ease Hartenstein into the lineup. But the 22-year-old will be called on for more minutes than anticipated as a result of Nance’s absence.

“We will do it by committee,” Bickerstaff said prior to the game. “We just kind of have to see how it goes. Next man up. We can’t expect one person to fill Larry’s shoes. Everybody is going to have to contribute.”

Even though Hartenstein, part of the JaVale McGee trade, has yet to practice with the Cavs, he was on the bench watching Saturday. He also went through his first shootaround Monday morning, helping get acclimated to the new environment.

“They’ve been doing a great job even in the short time I’ve been here kind of just getting me used to the plays and more just the terminology and what the plays are called,” Hartenstein said. “I think most of the plays are what almost every NBA team kind of runs. Nowadays there isn’t really any NBA team that doesn’t really run the same stuff, so that made it a lot easier.”

While the Cavs will be down a few bodies, Taurean Prince is set to make his return from a sprained shoulder, sources say. Prince, who banged his shoulder in practice ahead of the Second Half opener against the New Orleans Pelicans and has yet to play since the All-Star break, will come off the bench.

Isaiah Hartenstein to start vs. Utah Jazz in Cleveland Cavaliers debut; Taurean Prince returns from shoulder injury

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