There are conflicting reports about when Kyrie Irving is going to be playing NBA basketball again. The Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to keep it as mysterious as possible, but all points towards a sooner return than initially projected.
Irving fractured his left kneecap in the first game of the 2015 NBA Finals. He didn’t return to the series, had surgery and from there, the predictions talked about coming back in December, and then a return only in 2016 seemed a little bit more accurate. Maybe even March.
While the Cavaliers have been doing well without him (8-2 to start the season), they sure would love him to be on the floor. Mo Williams back in the starter spot in a uniform he’s familiar with isn’t such a bad way to go.
Williams is scoring 17.8 points per 36 minutes, his best since the 2008-2009 season, when he made the All-Star for the the first and only time, playing alongside one LeBron James. He hasn’t played next to James since the Decision, but it seems that being a point guard who can think about scoring instead of passing because James is the guy who runs the offense makes it easier for him. He’s shooting 47.9% from the field, which is the second best of his career, although 10 games isn’t much to go on.
There’s no official timeline for Irving’s return. David Blatt is talking about taking things day by day and not rushing it. Even with another key injury limiting the rotation (Iman Shumpert), the Cavaliers made the right additions in the summer to make it a little bit less effective in a negative way. For the meantime, with both James and Kevin Love a lot more comfortable in this system after struggling with it last year, the Cavs have the luxury of being patient with Irving, although they probably don’t need to stretch it too much. When he’s healthy and ready to go, he should be on the floor.