It was supposed to be a three or four month recovery. But Kyrie Irving’s injury (broken kneecap) sustained in game one of the NBA Finals will have him out longer than most expected and he may not see game time until the beginning of next year, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. It will be two months too long for Cavs fans anxious to see the team at full strength. But, on the bright side, the Cavs acquired Mo Williams in the offseason for just this reason, because no one wants to rush Kyrie back before he is ready.
The Cavs are clear to say Kyrie has not suffered a setback. This is all part of the healing process. The truth of Kyrie’s body is that he has never played a full 82 game schedule and this year he will follow that trend but the Cavs are practicing patience. They don’t have to rush him back nor do they have to overwork or overuse Matthew Dellavedova as they did in the NBA Finals. Smartly, the Cavs made it a point of emphasis this off-season to upgrade their back-up point guard.
Enter Mo Williams.
He has been here before, been in Cleveland, been the guy who LeBron James needed and it was a good relationship until 2010 when LeBron didn’t trust Williams in big games anymore. LeBron defected to Miami to hang out with his friends and appear in four straight NBA Finals. But Mo is exactly what the Cavs need now. Perhaps, he is not that same player he used to be five years later but he is not that much different either. His three point shooting has taken a dip but he still is an efficeint scorer and that was without LeBron James providing him excellent looks.
2009-2010: 45% two point shooting, 52% at the rim, 47% 3-10 feet, 50% 10-16 feet, 40% long two’s, 42% 3- point shooting
2014-15: 43% two point shots, 48% at the rim, 42% 3-10 feet, 46% 10-16 feet, 41% long two’s, 34% three point sooting.
Last year with Charlotte, Mo Williams averaged 17 points and 6 assists filling in for Kemba Walker. The offensive minded Williams will be a natural fit with a David Blatt style offense and will be the perfect fill-in until Kyrie gets back in January. Until then, the Cavaliers will need him.
The Cavs play 30 games before January 1st. 14 of those are games against 2015 playoff teams: Bulls, Raptors, Wizards, Hawks, Pelicans, Blazers, Bucks, Grizzlies, Nets, Warriors. They also play the Thunder with Kevin Durant returning to the lineup. Everyone is focusing on their Christmas Day matchup against Golden State that Kyrie won’t be a part of but it’s the games in November with Mo Williams as point guard that the Cavs need to develop their chemistry. Like last year, the Central Division will be a two team race and the Bulls, it seems, will return everyone healthy.
And the Cavs will too, have a healthy team, just not on October 27th when they open up the NBA season in Chicago.
photo via Wikimedia.org