Kyrie Irving finally came back to a team LeBron James has hilariously said will run through Kevin Love — and the Cavaliers looked unbeatable. Of course, everyone who plays against the woebegone Philadelphia 76ers (1-28) looks unbeatable. Irving has been out since soon after last year’s NBA finals began, leaving all the superstardom to LeBron James, who carried the load but ultimately couldn’t hurl Cleveland over the threshold by himself. Kevin Love is an extraordinary player — and bona fide All-Star — but Kyrie Irving is among the elite of the elite, an unstoppable force something like Russell Westbrook meets Chris Paul. With his return the ball will be in his hands, and Love’s role as primary option will change by degrees.
Irving said his return “felt amazing.” Which is the way all varsity players feel after a scrimmage with a scrappy but overmatched JV squad, which is essentially what the Sixers are. Final score was 108-86 — a home game, too. Irving played just 17 minutes, scoring 12 points. It’ll be a different environment on Christmas day, when in the NBA’s headline matchup the Cavs take on the Warriors in a Finals rematch. That’s December 25 at Golden State at 5pm ET on ABC. That game will mark Irving’s real return. The Cavs will host the Knicks first on Wednesday, so Irving can get more of his game legs.