Links to the Present: December 28, 2011

December 28th, 2011 by Colin McGowan

“The Cavaliers coach is simultaneously trying to win games and develop youngsters. Sometimes, those desires intersect to form peculiar moments like the one Monday night at The Q as Ramon Sessions, the game’s leading scorer, was subbed out for 19-year-old Kyrie Irving, who had hit 1-of-8 shots to that point. It wasn’t an exhibition or a meaningless late-season game, but the opener in front of a sellout crowd. Scott said he’s sure some fans second-guessed the move in the Cavaliers’ 104-96 loss to the Toronto Raptors.” [Tom Reed]

“There were plenty of eye opening issues with the Cavaliers in Game One. The first, and most obvious one, was the play of Kyrie Irving. While some nervous Cavalier fans might be concerned with the young PG after just one game, the reality is that there’s not much worth reading into after just one game. There’s no question Irving was hesitant to create his own offense. Only a couple times did he decide to make matters into his own hands and create something by driving into the lane. The Cavaliers will need him to be much more assertive. That’s what he was drafted for. As he gets more comfortable with his teammates and his role in this offense I expect him to be much more aggressive, the way he was with Duke.” [Andrew Schnitkey]

“Cavaliers coach Byron Scott hopes there’s a lot more to his team’s performance Wednesday against the Pistons than in Monday’s opener versus Toronto. He wants the Cavaliers to establish a physical presence against Detroit, a trait imbued in the Pistons’ DNA.” [Tom Reed]

Manny Harris landed with the Cavs’ D-League affiliate in Canton, so perhaps we’ll see him back on the NBA squad this season if the Cavaliers are hit by injuries or elect to trade some of their veterans.

And our colleagues over at Fear the Sword have a preview of tonight’s game in Detroit.