Back in August, Kyrie Irving told me that he would "be 150-percent by the start of the season". According to a Yahoo! report from Marc Spears this morning, he's right on track after breaking his hand earlier this summer.
"Kyrie Irving was back at the Cleveland Cavaliers' practice facility on Monday, playing in his first five-on-five scrimmage since breaking his right hand more than two months ago.
After Irving had surgery in Cleveland on July 18, the Cavaliers took a conservative approach to his rehabilitation. He wore a removable soft cast and couldn't do any conditioning for three weeks after the surgery. Irving improved his left-hand dribbling skills while he was sidelined, but he couldn't do much with his right hand. "I couldn't tie my shoes," Irving said. "I couldn't put my belt on. There were a few things I couldn't do. I couldn't cook, open up juice. I had my best friend and my father with me all the time."
The NBA lockout delayed the start of last season until Christmas, so this will be Irving's first true NBA training camp. The Cavs can use the extra time. They have 12 players with three years or less of experience. In fact, the Cavaliers' starting lineup could potentially have two rookies in guard Dion Waiters and Zeller and two second-year players in Irving and forward Tristan Thompson.
"We are still trying to find out chemistry right now," Irving said. "But I definitely do feel like we have a lot of talent on this team."'
Shout out to our boy Samardo, who came back ready to grind this year. From The Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto:
A year ago, Samardo Samuels arrived at camp close to 20 pounds overweight. He has been at the facility often this season and is in excellent shape, say team sources. With Jamison gone to Lakers, power forward is wide open. Thompson is expected to start. The Cavs want four big men for center/power forward. Three spots are taken by Thompson, Varejao and rookie Tyler Zeller. That leaves Samuels competing with undrafted free agents Michael Eric (Temple), Kevin Jones (West Virginia) and Jon Leuer (acquired on waivers).
I'm going on record right now to predict that Samardo is that fourth big in the Cavaliers rotation this season. I saw him out at Vegas Summer League and frankly I didn't recognize the guy. He's going to surprise some people this season.