June 26, 2016

Partly sunny

Cavs notes: Baron Davis won’t rush his return

CLEVELAND — First it was a sore left knee. Then it was his grandmother’s death. Now it’s back spasms.

Cavaliers point guard Baron Davis did not play Monday against the Orlando Magic at Quicken Loans Arena due to back spasms, but could be back in uniform as early as Wednesday when Cleveland hosts the New Jersey Nets.

Davis was bothered by a bad knee when the Cavs acquired him from the Los Angeles Clippers at the Feb. 24 trade deadline, then missed three games due to his grandmother’s death.

The 31-year-old returned Thursday against Portland, only to experience soreness in his lower back that sometimes resulted in pain shooting down his leg. He sat out Saturday against the Clippers.

Davis, who is averaging 14.3 points on .455 shooting and 4.3 assists in four games with the Cavs, had similar problems on occasion while playing for New Orleans and the Clippers, but doesn’t think the injury is anything serious. He does, however, want to get things right before he takes the court again.

“The way I look and feel, and the way I felt in Portland, it’s not doing me any good and it’s definitely not doing the team any good (to play),” Davis said. “I want to be out there when I can definitely have an impact on the game.”

Cavs coach Byron Scott normally requires a player to go through a full practice before returning to action, but didn’t follow that philosophy by allowing Davis to play against Portland, largely because it was his grandmother’s death and not a physical ailment that caused his absence.

“I’m second-guessing myself now, saying, ‘You know what? You should have stuck to your principles as far as practice and this wouldn’t have popped up,’” Scott said.

“I really want to see him practice (today),” the coach added. “Then we’ll kind of go from there.”

Davis appeared to be on the verge of moving into the starting lineup prior to his grandmother’s death, but will likely continue to come off the bench behind Ramon Sessions when he returns, which is just fine with him.

“I’m not worried too much about this season as far as starting,” he said. “I just want to be able to put my best foot forward and help us win some games.”

Scott, however, would like to get the 12th-year pro in the starting lineup before the end of the season.
“That’s still the plan,” he said. “I want to see how we play with him as the starter.”

Always a coach

Scott said he watched a lot of NCAA Tournament games over the weekend, but pointed out it’s impossible for him to enjoy them from a fan’s perspective.

“You’re always trying to pick out something,” he said. “I can’t remember the last time I watched a game just for fun.”

Scott was particularly impressed with Ohio State’s 98-66 dismantling of George Mason on Sunday.

“They looked real good,” he said of the Buckeyes. “If they play like that the rest of this tournament, nobody will beat them.”

Asked about potential pro prospects on the Buckeyes roster, Scott was careful because NBA personnel aren’t allowed to talk about underclassmen before they declare for the draft.

“We saw some guys that will be pretty good on the next level,” he said.

Playing with pain

Sessions, who began the night averaging 16.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 7.0 assists since Feb. 2, has been playing with a hernia for much of the season.

“Heat and ice are my best friends,” he said. “I just try to go out and play through it the best I can.”


  • In an attempt to be 100 percent next season, Davis said he will split time between Cleveland and his native Los Angeles this summer.
  • Orlando guard J.J. Redick missed his sixth straight game with a lower abdominal strain.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com.

About Rick Noland

Rick Noland is the Cavs beat writer for the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, and the author of "Over Time," a compilation of stories he's written in more than 30 years as a journalist. He can be reached at 330-721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.