Baron Davis returned to practice today for the Cavaliers and could start Friday against the Detroit Pistons. That decision won't be made until Friday morning, likely after Davis goes through shootaround to test his knee and his back.
Coach Byron Scott wants Davis to start at least 10 games this season. The Cavs have 12 remaining. Davis said after practice he feels like he could definitely contribute 10-15 minutes. Of course, starters generally play about double that amount.
"If he feels good enough tomorrow, that’s great," Scott said. "If he doesn’t, not a big rush. We’ll wait 'til Sunday."
The odd man out in all of this is Ramon Sessions, who has played fairly well through injury and is on the verge of losing his starting job. Sessions has played the last couple of months with a hernia that will need surgery to repair after the season. He continues to play through the pain, but likely could use the decrease in minutes.
But he's not happy about losing his starting job when he has played pretty well overall.
"It's tough. I've been waiting to get a break my whole career," Sessions said. "When Mo (Williams) was out, I feel like I did all I could do to finally get that break. But B.D. is a great player. If I have to come off the bench, I’m used to it. I’ll go back to that role again."
Other notes from Thursday's practice:
* Scott liked the way Ryan Hollins played, right up until Hollins fouled out late in overtime. It was one of the three fouls the Cavs committed late in the game that Scott thought they shouldn't have committed. As a result, Hollins has earned another start Friday against Detroit.
* The Cavs' starting lineup could have a vastly different look next season with Antawn Jamison and Anderson Varejao joining Davis in the starting lineup. A team that is among the youngest in the league would suddenly get a huge transfusion of veteran leadership. But Scott doesn't think it will stop the youth movement and rebuild needed in order for this franchise to again be among the league's elite. "There's still going to be a youth movement," Scott said. "We’ve got four draft picks. We’re going to have four more young players coming into this situation with this team next year, so we’re still going to be very young."
* Sessions says the hernia is a problem he has to monitor daily, because he never knows when it will flare up. "It doesn't flare up every day, it flares up every now and then," he said. "But it’s definitely an every day pain that I feel sitting at the house or in practice or sitting in the car. ... It's generally an ache. When it pops out, it's pain." Yes, his abdomen bulges out on occasion. It happened for the first time in the middle of a game, which caused him to panic until team doctors figured out what it was.
* Davis said this is the first time in his career he's really been asked to be a veteran mentor and he's enjoying it. He said his knee and back problems are related. "My back (spasms) has been a product of the knee, which now the knee is a product of the back," he said. "One compounds the other, so I have to continue to rehab them both in the same capacity and continue to build the strength and continue to work on having a solid, strong foundation."
* LeBron James returns to Cleveland on Tuesday. While no one believes it will reach quite the same crescendo as the first visit on Dec. 2, it will likely again be an intense environment. Davis obviously doesn't have a dog in the fight, but he watched James' first return to Cleveland on television. He didn't have much of an opinion on that game, but he does believe this one will be different. "I know we’re not going to be laughing and joking. That’s all I can say. Ain’t going to be a lot of smiles," Davis said. "It’ll be a good game for us because it’ll be a different game. We’ll have a different mentality, we’ll have a different attitude than the games before that I’ve seen them play against Miami."