INDEPENDENCE: Luol Deng seems doubtful to play tonight when the Cavs host the Philadelphia 76ers, although Kyrie Irving seems a possibility.
Deng is trying to make it to Cleveland on Tuesday, but the weather and flight delays leave it questionable whether he makes it in time. Deng barely slept last night, since he was on the phone with the Cavs after midnight. And even if he arrives, it seems doubtful he will play tonight, although no one has officially ruled him out.
Deng is averaging a career-high 19 points and 6.9 rebounds this season. He is as good defensively as he is a scorer and comes from Tom Thibodeu’s defensive-minded system with the Bulls.
“Length, veteran leadership, a guy who has won and won deep in the playoffs,” Brown said of Deng. “He brings a lot of everything.”
Irving participated in shootaround Tuesday morning and was the last player on the floor. He jumped and danced around the court, threw a football around after shootaround and didn’t seem to be bothered by his injured left knee.
Brown had said he wanted to see Irving participate in a practice before playing him, but Tuesday’s shootaround may suffice.
“I think anybody would like to see their guys on the floor in a full practice before playing a game, but I couldn’t tell you the last time we had a regular practice,” Brown said. “He got good work in today, he’ll get good work in before the game tonight and then we’ll go from there.”
Jarrett Jack is not expected to play tonight because of lingering back spasms.