According to coach Tyronn Lue, who was available at shootaround early Friday morning, Love and Irving will both play. Irving has missed the past three games with a hamstring injury, while Love missed Wednesday game against the Chicago Bulls after eating some bad sea bass a few days prior and remaining ill.
Kevin Love is playing tonight; Kyrie Irving probable— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) January 6, 2017
Lue said Irving is playing tonight, as is Love— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) January 6, 2017
This is good news for the Cavs. They’ve been playing shorthanded lately and not having two of their five starters is a big reason why. Getting Irving back, in particular, is good news considering some of the mystery surrounding his injury.
When Irving originally got hurt against the Boston Celtics, the team said it was cramps. Then, when he missed the next few games, it became a hamstring injury and Lue said he had ‘no expectations’ for Irving after Wednesday’s game. Now, it seems, the Cavs were just being cautious and justifiably so for a team that is playing the long game.
With Irving and Love back, the Cavs’ starting lineup should mostly return to normal aside from DeAndre Liggins continuing to start in place of the injured J.R. Smith. And with the Nets being one of the league’s worth teams, a blowout win tonight could mean Love, Irving and LeBron James could play and still get some rest.