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While Kyle Korver is expected to return to the lineup for the Cleveland Cavaliers at Detroit on Monday night, it won’t have a ripple effect on David Nwaba.
Interim Cleveland coach Larry Drew said Nwaba will remain in the Cavaliers’ rotation after averaging 28.0 minutes in the last two games, though Korver will return after missing two games with soreness in his right foot.
“We’ll find a way to get David in there because he brings too much for the table,” Drew told reporters at practice Friday. “We’ll work Kyle back in slowly, we’ll see how his foot progresses day to day. My plan is to definitely keep David as a rotational player.”
It’s not difficult to see why, either.
Nwaba, signed to a one-year deal for $1.5 million Sept. 8, played a big part in Cleveland ending its five-game skid with a victory against visiting Charlotte on Wednesday night with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting, five rebounds, two assists and a steal in 27 minutes and followed that with 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting, seven boards, an assist, two steals and a block in 28 minutes in a loss at Washington the next night.
On the season, the 25-year-old is averaging 5.3 points and 2.2 boards on 51.1-percent shooting in 12.9 minutes in 10 games.
Drew likes what he has seen from the 6-foot-5, 209-pound Nwaba, who has made 12 of 17 shots from the floor the last two games with Korver sidelined.
On a team with the NBA’s worst record at 2-12, that kind of production cannot be discounted.
“I’ve always liked David from afar,” Drew said. “He’s just a guy who comes in and plays hard. You feel his presence when he’s out on the floor, whether he’s doing something on the offensive end or whether he’s doing something on the defensive end you feel his presence.
“I like the attitude that he brings as far as taking a challenge to whoever he guards. I don’t care who it is, he’s going to take the challenge. He may score on you, but he’ll step up to the plate and take the challenge. I admire that about any player that will do that.”