BARON DAVIS FIRST TIME IN THE GARDEN, AS A CAVALIER…
Baron Davis to make Cavaliers debut
NEW YORK — Baron Davis will make his Cleveland Cavaliers debut Friday night against the New York Knicks.Davis, traded to the Cavaliers from the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 24, has missed Cleveland’s past three games with a sore left knee.
Davis said Friday morning that the injury has bothered him for the entire season. It recently flared up during the Clippers’ 11-game road trip. Davis sat out the final game of that road trip and was traded to Cleveland the following day.
“I’m just trying to build it back up and just trying to finish the season strong with the Cavs,” Davis said.
Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said Davis would not start against the Knicks. Scott said he would speak to the training staff to determine how many minutes Davis could handle Friday.
Davis said playing for long stretches may be a problem.
“I’ll play as much as I can,” he said.
Scott held Davis out of Cleveland’s past two games because he hadn’t practiced enough with the team. Davis has participated in three practices with the 11-win Cavaliers.
Davis, 31, has dealt with knee problems before. He told reporters in Cleveland recently that he’s had three knee operations and had a cyst removed, as well.
He had a rocky relationship with Scott when Scott coached him in Charlotte. But the two reportedly patched things up two years ago when Davis apologized to Scott in the parking lot after a preseason game.
Davis on Friday called Scott one of his favorite players growing up and said the coach was an early influence on his basketball career.
Davis, a 12-year veteran, is averaging 12.8 points this season, down from his career average of 16.5 points.
The Clippers dealt Davis and an unprotected first-round pick to Cleveland for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon.
Davis, who is under contract through next season with a player option for 2012-2013, said Friday that he’s looking forward to getting on the floor with the Cavaliers, who lost an NBA-record 26 straight games earlier this season.
“First game for a new team [and] I’m excited,” Davis said. “I think the players are excited. It will be good for us to all get out there and put our best foot forward and just start working to be a better team.”
Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.