Good news out of Cavs' practice: Kyrie Irving participated and is expected to play vs. ATL
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 29, 2014
Irving had sat out the previous two games with a bruised knee, and Kevin Love had intimated that Irving might not be totally ready to come back as late as Sunday night. His return really couldn't come at a better time for the Cavs, as they look to rebound from a dismal performance against Detroit. Irving has been fantastic this season, both individually, and in terms of what he's been able to do for the team. The Cavs are 5.3 points per 100 possessions better than opponents when he's on the court. His shooting efficiency is up, his defense has improved, and he has reduced his usage to accommodate players like LeBron James and Kevin Love.
Aside from that, Irving's return gives David Blatt another player who belongs in an NBA rotation. It isn't a big man, no, but it'll be helpful all the same. Given the Cavs' offense struggled a bit against Detroit, I'd be surprised if Irving didn't make a positive contribution against the Hawks.
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