A night after playing good defense, but still appearing just a bit off offensively against the Golden State Warriors, the Cavs are going to let Kyrie Irving take the night off.
#Cavs guard Kyrie Irving not playing tonight. Part of the plan to ease him back from injury.— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) December 26, 2015
This is fine. The team has been nothing but positive about the way Irving is progressing, and even though shots weren't falling against Golden State it seemed like he was defending well. It was a high-intensity game and Irving's minutes ticked up a bit, so it makes sense to give him the night off. I'd wonder about the Cavs ability to win this one, but they've been playing pretty good basketball lately, and guys like Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova and Iman Shumpert should have plenty of energy. Kevin Love figures to want to bounce back as well.
The Cavs will be helped by the absence of Blazers guard Damian Lillard:
. @Dame_Lillard (plantar fasciitis) is OUT for tonight's game vs. Cavs. Third game Lillard has missed with the injury.— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) December 26, 2015
Without Lillard, C.J. McCollum will be asked to shoulder the load offensively for the Blazers. It's been something of a breakout season for him, so the Cavs will have their hands full. If they aren't burnt out from yesterday though, you'd think the Cavs can take care of business.