Cavs still waiting for next opponent
NBA Eastern Conference Final
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Kyrie Irving misses the sounds, the sights, the stress of the NBA playoffs.
The All-Star point guard isn’t the only one.
“We’re itching to play,” Irving said.
The Cavaliers are still waiting.
With Washington and Boston headed to a Game 7 on Monday, Cleveland’s break since sweeping Toronto in the second round just grew a little longer. By the time the Cavaliers take the floor for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals this Wednesday, it will have been nine days between games — the longest layoff since LeBron James took them to the postseason back in 2006.
For Irving and his teammates, the break has grown boring and somewhat burdensome, testing their patience and willpower. Coach Tyronn Lue has resisted the temptation to let his players scrimmage 5 on 5, instead limiting their workouts to glorified walk-throughs.
Irving said the unbeaten-in-the-postseason Cavs are ready to run.
“We’re not necessarily shooting the ball, we’re just running through plays, some guys get a little bit antsy and mad and they want to go to the basket and finish plays,” he said. “Just get everything firing again because you miss the contact, you miss getting hit and being able to be there for your teammate and get hype and go in transition. Just the little nuances that make this game so beautiful and competitive and you love it.
“When you’re not playing it, as of right now, you try to do anything to keep you sharp.”
Lue has been doing everything he can to keep his players focused and energized during the long layoff. On Saturday, the team worked on some defensive rotations in preparation for either the Wizards or Celtics, both of whom have star guards and high-scoring backcourts.