It was the first day of training camp for the Cavaliers and Lisa Boyer was ready. Boyer sat in the stands at Gund Arena with her feet up, clipboard in hand and prepared to take notes.
That all changed once Cavs coach John Lucas noticed Boyer and invited her to the court to help the team. Lucas hasn't allowed Boyer to sit unassumingly in the stands since.
Boyer, already an assistant coach with the WNBA's Cleveland Rockers, is a volunteer assistant coach with the Cavs. She participates in all of the home practices, and she is a part of Lucas' staff during home games. She doesn't travel with the team. Boyer sits on the side with associate coach Chuck Person during games. The league allows only two assistant coaches on the team bench.
NBA Entertainment is in town this week filming Boyer. She's the only female assisting an NBA team in a coaching capacity.
"A lot of this has to do with John," Boyer said. "This guy is about opportunity. He's full of energy and he's about positive motivation. I don't think he necessarily had in this mind that morning that he was going to walk in and add me to his staff. The opportunity presented itself, and I was in the right place at the right time and I appreciate it. It's been an incredible learning experience."
Boyer has 19 years of coaching experience, all in the women's game. She was the head coach of the Richmond/Philadelphia Rage of the ABL from 1996 to '98. Prior to coaching the Rage, she was the head coach at Bradley from 1986 to '96.
Hamilton set to return tonight:
Richard Hamilton, the Washington Wizards' second-leading scorer behind Michael Jordan, was activated from the injured list and planned to play tonight at Cleveland.
Hamilton had missed 17 games with a groin tear. Hamilton, averaging 19.8 points, and Jordan are the only Wizards players averaging in double figures.
Hubert Davis, who has been starting in Hamilton's place, will miss the trip to Cleveland because of the flu. Coach Doug Collins said Tyrone Nesby or Courtney Alexander will start, with Hamilton coming off the bench.
To make room for Hamilton on the roster, Bobby Simmons was placed on the injured list because of tendinitis in his left knee.
Bryant Stith played his second consecutive impressive game on Tuesday. Stith had a season-high 20 points last Saturday against Boston and he finished with 14 points and a season-high nine rebounds during the Cavs' victory over Minnesota.
Stith, however, knows his role as a starter can change.
"It feels good [playing well during the last two games], but I understand that I'm just doing my job until Lamond [Murray] gets back," Stith said. "Hopefully I've gained the confidence of my teammates and coaches where they feel comfortable to give me more minutes off the bench."
Trajan Langdon scored a season-high 14 points in nine minutes during the Cavs' win against Minnesota. Langdon's been on and off the injured list all season, so the time on the court was well-spent.
"It was good getting in before the last couple of minutes of a game and being able to get into a real flow," Langdon said. "It was good to get in and see the ball go through the hoop, and even better to end the [Cavs' 12-game losing] streak against one of the better teams in the league."
"I've never heard of a run like that before. I'm just glad I wasn't on the other end of it." - Lucas, on the Cavs' 45-4 run against Minnesota during the second and third quarters.
The Cavs followed practice with a birthday cake for rookie DeSagana Diop. Diop, the Cavs' first-round pick in last year's draft, turned 20 yesterday.
"I was surprised and I appreciate it," Diop said. "I'm going to celebrate by going to a concert and then I'm going to chill."
Lucas said chances are good Murray will come off the injured list on Saturday against Detroit. Murray will wear a mask to protect his broken nose, suffered against the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 18.