Kyrie Irving reportedly detroys LeBron 1-on-1
Still recovering from a fractured kneecap, Kyrie Irving is expected to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ lineup in December or January. However, with a 10-3 record and knowing that they will need him fully healthy for the playoffs, the Cavs are not trying to rush Irving back.
Irving has been progressing right on schedule though and has even been able to play in light 1-on-1 contact drills and games. One such game recently took place between Irving and LeBron James and according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the Cavs point guard “destroyed” the star forward. McMenamin does report that the game was a bit modified as only one dribble was allowed and James did end up winning two games against Irving.
Kyrie Irving played a set of modified 1-on-1 games against LeBron James after the Cleveland Cavaliers’ shootaround Saturday and “destroyed him,” a team source told ESPN.com.
They weren’t true games of 1-on-1 in the sense that only one dribble was allowed per possession, thus rendering James’ significant size advantage moot as he couldn’t simply back Irving down with his dribble and post him up. Games finished with the first player to score three baskets.
Getting hot from the outside with his shot helped Irving succeed, per the source.
To be fair, James ultimately evened the set of games 2-2 before the pair finished for the afternoon, but Irving was, apparently, in the zone.
While we can’t read too much into these games as Irving may have just gotten hot and repeatedly drilled jumpers over James, this is a great sign for the Cavs. By showing that he is able to challenge James 1-on-1, Irving is clearly getting healthier and making strides to return to the Cavs’ lineup sooner rather than later.
LeBron and Kyrie have a laugh about their 1-on-1 games. (USATSI)
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