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Kyrie Irving is ahead of schedule on his recovery and is expected back before January with some insiders confident that he’ll suit up against the Warriors on Christmas Day.
The former All-Star MVP has been practicing and is reportedly looking in good shape. This past weekend Irving played LeBron James in a 1-on-1 game in which only one dribble was allowed and the score was up to three points. According to the media in attendance the 23-year-old went to work on James with reports claiming he actually “destroyed” his teammate in the battle. Via ESPN:
Kyrie Irving played a set of modified 1-on-1 games against LeBron James after the Cleveland Cavaliers’ shootaround Saturday and “destroyed him,” a team source told ESPN.com.
They weren’t true games of 1-on-1 in the sense that only one dribble was allowed per possession, thus rendering James’ significant size advantage moot as he couldn’t simply back Irving down with his dribble and post him up. Games finished with the first player to score three baskets.
Getting hot from the outside with his shot helped Irving succeed, per the source.
To be fair, James ultimately evened the set of games 2-2 before the pair finished for the afternoon, but Irving was, apparently, in the zone.
For a guy who hasn’t played a game in more than five months as he continues to recover from a fractured left kneecap that he suffered in Game 1 of the Finals, Irving’s performance against James, the four-time MVP, certainly can help boost the three-time All-Star’s confidence and reaffirm the rehab work he has already put in.