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INDEPENDENCE -- Kyrie Irving misses the sounds, the sights, the stress of the NBA playoffs.
The All-Star point guard isn't the only one.
"We're itching to play," Irving said.
The Cavaliers are still waiting.
With Washington and Boston headed to a Game 7 on Monday, Cleveland's break since sweeping Toronto in the second round just grew a little longer. By the time the Cavaliers take the floor for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals next Wednesday, it will have been nine days between games -- the longest layoff since LeBron James took them to the postseason back in 2006.
For Irving and his teammates, the break has grown boring and somewhat burdensome, testing their patience and willpower. Coach Tyronn Lue has resisted the temptation to let his players scrimmage 5 on 5, instead limiting their workouts to glorified walk-throughs.
Irving said the unbeaten-in-the-postseason Cavs are ready to run.
"We're not necessarily shooting the ball, we're just running through plays, some guys get a little bit antsy and mad and they want to go to the basket and finish plays," he said. "Just get everything firing again because you miss the contact, you miss getting hit and being able to be there for your teammate and get hype and go in transition. Just the little nuances that make this game so beautiful and competitive and you love it.
"When you're not playing it, as of right now, you try to do anything to keep you sharp."
Lue has been doing everything he can to keep his players focused and energized during the long layoff. On Saturday, the team worked on some defensive rotations in preparation for either the Wizards or Celtics, both of whom have star guards and high-scoring backcourts.
"You got to keep them engaged and show them new things," Lue said. "I've got to trick them at times, but they've been pretty locked in and we've just got to continue to do what we do. It is what it is, and we just got to continue to work on what we need to get better at and then whoever we play we just got to be ready."
Tavares breaks his hand during practice
Cavaliers backup center Walter Tavares broke his right hand during practice this week.
While the injury isn't expected to hurt Cleveland going forward, it reinforced coach Tyronn Lue's plan not to scrimmage while the defending champions await an opponent in the Eastern Conference finals.
The 7-foot-3 Tavares, who was signed on the final day of the regular season, broke his hand during an informal scrimmage Thursday. An X-ray and bone scan confirmed the injury. The team said the rookie is out indefinitely.
Lue said the Cavaliers, who swept their first two series, won't scrimmage before playing either Washington or Boston in the conference finals starting Wednesday. The Wizards and Celtics play Game 7 of their semifinal series Monday.
Cleveland has had a rash of injuries to centers, with Chris "Birdman" Andersen and Andrew Bogut suffering season-ending knee injuries.