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Cleveland Cavaliers

Even after Baron Davis' release, Byron Scott not ready to anoint Kyrie Irving as the starter

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 15, 2011
Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving shoots baskets during practice at the NBA basketball team's training camp, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, in Independence, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

INDEPENDENCE: Even though Baron Davis is gone, the Cavs' starting point guard spot won't automatically fall to Kyrie Irving. Coach Byron Scott said Thursday the rookie will still have to earn it.

Scott is undecided who he'll start at point guard in Friday night's preseason opener at the Detroit Pistons. It will be either Irving or Ramon Sessions.

"Practice has been great. We'll have another practice tomorrow before the game, then I'll make a decision on who I'm going to start before tomorrow night."

Even if Scott elects to start Sessions in the first preseason game, it is widely assumed Irving will be the starting point guard on opening night on Dec. 26. Irving said he had mixed emotions over Davis' release.

"I really wish Baron could've continued with the organization, but it was an organizational decision and had nothing to do with me or where I am as a player," Irving said. "Either way, I would've had to earn my position here. That's kind of the attitude and mentality I was coming in with, just to earn my spot and prove to Coach Scott and my teammates I can play on this level."

Other notes from Wednesday's practice...

* Anderson Varejao, Anthony Parker and Antawn Jamison will start for the Cavs tomorrow night against the Pistons. Scott is still undecided at point guard and small forward.

When he's healthy, Omri Casspi is the Cavs' small forward, but he's still working his way back from a knee injury. Scott said Casspi practiced today and will make the trip, but is unlilkely to play against the Pistons. That leaves Christian Eyenga and Alonzo Gee to share the job until Casspi returns.

* Scott made it clear that Jamison is the starting power forward and he's still undecided on the backup. It could be either Samardo Samuels or Tristan Thompson, although both could play minutes at center behind Anderson Varejao (at least until Semih Erden returns from a fractured thumb).

* Parker played a fair amount of small forward later in the season, but Scott said that was strictly because of the rash of injuries that hit the team. He expects Parker to be strictly a shooting guard this season.

* Tonight's game will be broadcast by Fox Sports Ohio.

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