Both Byron Scott and Baron Davis expect Davis to make his Cavs debut tomorrow night at New York. Davis' knee is feeling better, he made it through another practice on Thursday and all parties involved are excited to see what he can do.
"It's not going to heal in three or four days, but I'm able to get out here and practice and do some things," Davis said. "Being able to watch a couple games so far gives me more comfortability with the team."
It has been interesting to watch Scott and Davis interact for the last week. It's clear both men genuinely want to get off on the right foot and both men are eager to work together again after such a tumultuous time together in New Orleans. It's worth noting, however, that shortly after taking the Hornets job, Scott told management the team needed to get younger and more athletic. Part of the fallout for that was the trade of Davis. Now Scott is going out of his way to praise Davis as one of the league's top five point guards when he's healthy.
It's simply not true, but Davis is surely in the top 10. In no particular order, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Steve Nash and Chris Paul probably belong above Davis. But when he's right, Davis can be in the top third among the league. If he's willing to mentor -- and early on that seems to be true -- he could be a great influence on Ramon Sessions and any other young point guard the Cavs draft this summer (Kyrie Irving?).
For now, Davis appears motivated to quiet his detractors. That's never a bad thing.
"I love the game. I study the game. I see the game from a different set of eyes than a lot of other guys and a lot of other point guards," Davis said. "There are a lot of doubters and people saying I'm not going to come here, I don't want to be here, I want to quit, I'm going to give up. That is more motivation just to put a sock in everyone's mouth."
* The injury news isn't as good for Semih Erden, Boobie Gibson and Luke Harangody. Erden went through his first practice with the Cavs, but is still at least a week from playing. Scott said it's more conditioning than any injury concern. Harangody's right hip pointer kept him out of practice Thursday, as did Gibson's bruised thigh. Gibson is questionable for Sunday's game against the Hornets and Harangody is day to day.
* Davis had an interesting perspective on Byron Scott now compared to their time together in New Orleans six years ago. It was brief, about half a season, but Davis said the franchise was obviously going to start rebuilding, which forced Scott to be a little gruffer than he has been with the Cavs. "He ahd to be a lot toughter to stand on who he was and his principles to get what he wanted out of the team," Davis said of New Orleans. "Now you can just see the confidence. From the experiences he's had, both good and bad, he's been able to grow and transition to where he is now. If you ask any guy on this
team about playing for him, they'll give their heart and soul. I see why after just being here for a week."