Kyrie Irving won’t play on Tuesday against the Celtics. And beyond that, no one knows when Irving will finally hit the court for the first time in 2015-16. By the sounds of things, though, Irving is ready—in fact, maybe even desperate to get back on the hardwood—but the Cavaliers are still holding him back just to be cautious. More, from Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com:
A source familiar with Kyrie Irving’s rehabilitation told ESPN.com the fifth-year guard is “ready to play” both mentally and physically and has been that way for about the last week. Yet, Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt said after practice Sunday that “we won’t see” Irving on the court Tuesday against the Boston Celtics.
Blatt even went on to say Irving “practiced well” and “he is looking good and he is feeling good.” So, again, what is the holdup?
Basically, it comes down to the Cavs exercising extreme caution when it comes to their three-time All-Star point guard. And it comes down to approaching the season with a championship-or-bust mentality, rendering the urge to play Irving in any December game, no matter the flash the matchup may provide — a playoffs rematch in Boston; a top-flight point-guard battle against Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook; etc. — insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
Irving has stayed true to the Cavs’ plan to take the measured route back to the lineup, but that doesn’t mean he likes it. As Cleveland.com previously reported, Irving has indeed been pestering the coaching staff and front office to allow him to return to the point of being “pissed off,” according to a source. However, he’s channeled that frustration into extra work on the court, as witnessed by him joining James as the last two players going through shooting drills after Sunday’s practice while teammates had long since started icing their knees.