But as Irving dribbled up the court on the Cavs' first possession, the cheers continued.
Unsurprisingly, the first play of the game was earmarked for him.
"I purposely avoided telling you because I didn't want you coming at me at the end of the game," Blatt said, "but I can tell you we were wildly successful in terms of the minutes that Kyrie played.
No reservations whatsoever about the fourth quarter because that was in the plan and I'm happy to say that he came out feeling good and looking good, so a small victory for the planning." Irving got a better feel as the game went on and he will get more practice time before Wednesday's matchup against the Knicks.
Philadelphia's defensive breakdown provided an open lane to the rim and it looked like his first bucket of the season would come quickly.
"Just more thankful that I have the teammates, the organization that I have, as well as the support system, given their confidence and them wanting to give me the ball right on my first time out," Irving said.
"That first offensive play was designed for me to get the ball and get a layup.
The Cavs went 17-7 and climbed to the top of the Eastern Conference with Irving and Shumpert in street clothes for the first quarter of the season. Shumpert returned Sunday from a minor groin injury.Having Shump back and having almost the full group back once Mo gets back it feels really good." There's a different feeling now: increased fervor.It appears their best basketball is in front of them.This is as healthy as the Cavs have been since the start of last year's postseason."We're almost there," James said after pouring in a game-high 23 points on 10-of-17 from the field. Before the game we was in the hallway and we saw so many familiar faces and having Ky back after the six or seven month layoff I know he was very excited.He also dished out four assists and had two steals in 17 minutes.