As part of their plan to bring him along slowly after missing six months with a knee injury, the Cavaliers are holding Kyrie Irving out of the second nights of back-to-backs for the time being. He won’t play Saturday night against the Blazers, according to ESPN.com’s Dave McMenamin:
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers, multiple sources told ESPN.com. The plan for Irving to rest, with the Cavs playing in their first back-to-back games since Irving’s return from a fractured left kneecap nearly a week ago, is simply part of the team’s process to ease the three-time All-Star back toward a full workload.
Irving has been on a playing time restriction in his three games back thus far, steadily increasing his minutes from 17 to 20 to 26 in games against Philadelphia, New York and Golden State, respectively.
Irving has been limited in the three games he’s played since returning from the injury, so it makes sense to be cautious with him on back-to-backs as he feels his way back. The only thing that matters is keeping him healthy for the playoffs.