While head coach Mike Brown, general manager Chris Grant and a few Cavaliers spoke to media largely about the very recently acquired Luol Deng, Brown told the media present that point guard Jarrett Jack would again be out with back spasms, while Kyrie Irving is questionable and will be a game time decision as he continues to recover for his left knee contusion tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers. Deng, whose trade was reported after midnight, will also not make his Cavaliers debut until the Cavaliers head out west for a road trip, possibly Friday in Utah against the Jazz.
Per Mike Brown, Jarrett Jack is out for tonight. Kyrie Irving is questionable. #Cavs
— Scott @ WFNY (@WFNYScott) January 7, 2014
Mike Brown says Jarrett Jack out tonight against Philly. Kyrie Irving to be determined tonight. #Cavs
— M.S. Boyer/J. Valade (@PDcavsinsider) January 7, 2014
Against Philadelphia, missing Irving and Jack could the difference between the Cavaliers beating a team they should in the 76ers and losing to a team they should beat in the 76ers. After a strong start to the season, Philadelphia has cooled off and been just as horrible as many expected the would be from the get go. Still, as of this morning, Philadelphia is slightly ahead of the Wine & Gold in the standings. With a record of 12-22, the 76ers are a game ahead of the Cavaliers. And as Cleveland makes a move to add a player who can help them be better and win now, this is a game they should win if they want to get into the middle class of Eastern Conference teams jockeying for position underneath Miami and Indiana. And as the Cavaliers head out west (which admittedly starts with a few easy games) it’s important that they start taking advantage of games against the low of the low. That’s one of the differences between a playoff team and a non-playoff team, plain and simple.
Tip-off is at 7 pm from Quicken Loans Arena.