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Colts' Arthur Jones: 'I'll Be Ready
Oft-injured defensive tackle, reduced to three starts in two seasons by ankle injuries, is confident he will be back for 2016 season.
Jason Kipnis at home playing in Chicago (and getting some pizza)

Indians second basemen Jason Kipnis has a carefully regimented food plan when visiting Chicago.

A Chicago native who lives downtown during the offseason, Kipnis gets to make three trips a season to play the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. And each trip always includes a stop to some favorite Chicago-based eateries.

There’s a pizza place, of course, that being Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. Then there’s Portillo’s, an American-style burger and hot dog joint. And finally a breakfast place, Sarks in the Park.

It’s all part of a schedule—by now more of a routine—that also includes being able to see friends and family. Kipnis has stayed in touch with friends and former coaches from Glenbrook North High School, which now includes a plaque for Kipnis at its baseball field. His parents still live in Northbrook, which rests along Chicago’s North Shore.

“It’s almost like I get to hit a little reset button away from the field,” Kipnis said. “I get to see all the familiar friends and faces I want to see. It’s always good to go home and it’s nice to get a little break.”

Kipnis has certainly been productive on the field in his trips to Chicago as well. Entering this series, he had a career .324 average, .395 on-base percentage and .909 OPS at U.S. Cellular Field. Last year’s All-Star season was coincidentally the one year Kipnis hasn’t played well in Chicago, but since he broke into the big leagues, home has treated him well.

Indians manager Terry Francona sees it as Kipnis treating the homecoming series the right way.

"Some guys come home and they have family and they get sidetracked and the game almost becomes an afterthought,” Francona said. “You're so busy worrying about tickets and this and this. Obviously that's not the case with him.”

It might be the food. It’s probably more-so seeing friends and family. Kipnis always makes sure to know where his parents are sitting in the stadium. His friends, a bit louder, normally make it pretty clear where they are.

“There’s always little extra nerves because you know who the people in the stands are personally,” Kipnis said. “It’s different when I’m in a different city and I want to do well for them from miles away because I want to represent them well and make them proud. When they’re actually watching the games, it’s like, ‘I’d really like to get a hit right now,’ because they’re here.”

Cavaliers notebook: Cavs will worry about injured Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas when he plays

By George Thomas

Beacon Journal sports writer

Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey still has hopes of getting center Jonas Valanciunas on the floor against the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals and the longer the series drags on the more plausible that seems.

“Again, it depends on the lineup they have on the court,” Casey said during a teleconference call Tuesday. “I know he’s our starting center, but it’s tough to put him out there if they’re playing Channing Frye big minutes at the five. We just have to make sure that he has a matchup and he’s not out there chasing 3-point shooters all around the perimeter.

“But if he does get called, we’ve got to be able to make them pay and have him in the paint, posting up and getting touches down there. And also too, he’s going to be valuable for us because he is an excellent passer and can make plays from the top of the key.”

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said the time to worry about Valanciunas is when he plays, though he’s still unlikely to be at 100 percent.

“Well, we know that he’s an offensive presence on the block and we know he’s physical down low, another great offensive rebounder, and he just gives them a big body that they can slow the game down and post the basketball,” Lue said. “We’re prepared for it, but we haven’t seen him play yet, so we’ve got to focus in on [Bismack] Biyombo and [Patrick] Patterson and [Luis] Scola and those guys right now.”

Game of threes

The Cavs took 82 3-point shots in their losses in Toronto and made 27, but they’re not going to give up on taking those shots if Lue is to be believed.

“We post LeBron, they’re coming in a double-team with Biyombo, so we’re kicking out for open 3s even when we penetrate,” he said. “They’re doing a good job of trying to clog the paint and take away our penetration. “We’ve just got to take what the defense gives us.”

Given the past two games, some might say the Cavs rely on the 3-pointer too much but point guard Matthew Dellavedova disagrees.

“I think we had a lot of good looks. We knock some more down, and nobody is talking about that. I think if they’re not going in,” he said, “we have to keep trying to recognize that and be aware that we need to keep a balance of taking it to the rim. If we keep pressure on the rim and it brings the defense in, then we’re kicking out for easier looks. It’s definitely a balance, but if they’re open, you’ve still got to take them and shoot with confidence.”

Biyombo’s effect

The way Biyombo’s playing might force the Cavs to go to their small lineup of Frye, Matthew Dellavedova, Iman Shumpert, Richard Jefferson and LeBron James, more in Game 5 to get more spacing, Lue said.

“Well, we did that last game in Game 4 by getting Channing in early in that first quarter to spread them out,” Lue said. “We were able to get some open 3s. They were normally knocked down, we just didn’t make them. If we’d have made those 3s, it would have been a different game.”

Hard Rock Café in Cleveland to close in July
The restaurant at 230 W. Huron Road opened at Tower City Center in 1998.
East finals are no longer a sure thing for Cavs, but they shouldn't have been anyway
We break down Kevin Love's struggles, Tyronne Lue's questionable decisions and LeBron James' outside shot. Plus, we promise to stop looking ahead to the NBA Finals.
The Riyadh-to-Cleveland train is slowing down
U.S. colleges' bounty of foreign students is diminishing, creating challenges for schools including Cleveland State University, The Wall Street Journal reports. Plus, a $1,195 class helps journalists learn how to cover political conventions, TheStreet.com is high on Cedar Fair, and more.
J.M. Smucker Co. to cut prices of Folgers, Dunkin' Donuts coffees
Lower green coffee costs prompt the Orville-based company to decrease prices by 6%.
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker to speak at Democratic luncheon in Cleveland
The inaugural Ohio Democratic Party Northeast Ohio Luncheon will be held on Friday, June 17, at the Westin Hotel in downtown Cleveland.
Mountaineer NGL Storage, LLC, Concludes Successful Open Season for Natural Gas Liquid Storage

Mountaineer NGL Storage, LLC near Clarington, OHDENVER, May 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Mountaineer NGL Storage, LLC, announced the conclusion of a successful non-binding open season for its natural gas storage project near Clarington, Ohio. The open season resulted in requests for more than three times the amount of initial planned...

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