Iman Shumpert is back a bit earlier than expected.
At his media availability before Tuesday’s Cavs-Bulls game, coach Tyronn Lue said that Shumpert would play six days after spraining his left foot. He was originally expected to miss 7-10 days. Additionally, Lue said that Shumpert would be the first player off the bench, replacing Derrick Rose when Rose comes out early in the first quarter.
Both bits of news are surprising. Until Lue’s media availability, there was no indication that Shumpert would return. Additionally, it’s interesting to learn that Shumpert will be not only the first Cavalier off the bench, but will replace Rose and play with the Cavs’ other starters. The move puts him on the floor ahead of J.R. Smith, who Lue moved to the bench this week in order to start Dwyane Wade. Smith would seem likely to be paired with Rose later on the bench units Rose is supposed to run.
This, of course, could all change. But for at least tonight, the Cavs’ rotation adjustments have changed in an interesting way.