ORLANDO, FLA.: They have tried twice before to make it work with mixed results. Now Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters are back together again.
Irving returns to the starting lineup Wednesday when the Cavs face the Orlando Magic. He will start alongside Waiters, who was removed as a starter after just nine games this season and didn’t return until Irving went down with a biceps injury two weeks ago. Now that both young guards are healthy, Mike Brown is willing to give their partnership another chance.
“We’ve been trying to figure it out for the last two years,” Irving said of playing alongside Waiters. “It’s had its ups and downs, but it’s at a point now as professionals and mature individuals playing we’re doing a great job of figuring it out. He’s doing a great job of making everybody better, and now me coming in just going to make his job a lot easier.
“I’m still going to have him as my 2-guard. He’s my wing man.”
Irving was initially concerned his season was over after he strained the biceps muscle in his left arm in a loss to the Clippers. But the injury wasn’t as severe as initially feared and he looked terrific in Tuesday’s contact practice, according to a source, so the Cavs saw no need to delay his return after initially believing they needed to be conservative with his timetable.
“Kyrie is our best player,” Brown said. “To be 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.”