Apr 2, 2014, 7:16 PM EDT
Kyrie Irving has missed the last eight games for the Cavaliers due to a biceps injury, and while the team went just 4-4 in his absence, that’s enough in the dreadful Eastern Conference to be considered a run, and it has Cleveland within striking distance of making the playoffs.
Irving will return to the lineup on Wednesday as expected to further help his team’s chances.
Cleveland coach Mike Brown said before tipoff that Irving, who has missed the Cavs’ last eight games due to a strained left biceps, will start against Orlando with “no minute restriction on him.” He also indicated that Dion Waiters will remain in the Cavs’ starting backcourt, moving Jarrett Jack to the bench.
“Kyrie’s our best player,” Brown said. “Being able to have him out on the floor is always a positive for us. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. He brings a lot to the table for us on both ends of the floor.”
Two of Cleveland’s wins during the stretch without Irving were against playoff teams in the Pacers and the Raptors, and another was against a playoff hopeful in the Knicks.
The Cavaliers enter Wednesday night’s action three games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, and only face two teams currently in the playoffs the rest of the way in the Nets and the Hawks.
- NBA Draft prospect matchups to watch in NCAA Tourament this weekend 1
- Report: LeBron James frustrated with Kevin Love for not fitting in 79
- Five Things We Learned in NBA Wednesday: Kevin Love seems to be fitting in just fine suddenly 4
- It’s official: Dwight Howard will return to Rockets’ lineup Wednesday 2
- Dwyane Wade on MVP race: “I would say James Harden” 27
- Report: Rockets’ Patrick Beverley has torn ligament in wrist, to decide course in 7-10 days 2
- Derrick Rose expects to be cleared for contact soon, says he feels no pain in right knee 9
- Five Things We Learned in NBA Tuesday: Warriors win Pacific Division, may win much more 20