Published: Fri, April 06, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Duke in the NBA: Kyrie Irving Done For the Season

Duke in the NBA: Kyrie Irving Done For the Season

His loss is a blow to Boston (53-25), which is now the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics were hoping to get their best player back after the first round, but now they at least have some clarity.

Hayward was recently spotted jogging, but like Irving, will be donned in his nicest Gucci suit on the bench for the entirety of the playoffs.

There is no way around it, Kyrie Irving is not a durable player.

Brown and Tatum have both had usage rates over 23.0 with Irving out.

Ainge landed a pair of potential franchise cornerstones with the third overall pick in each of the past two drafts - Jaylen Brown in 2016 and Jayson Tatum previous year - and even got another valuable first rounder from the Philadelphia 76ers for moving down from first to third - where they got the player, Tatum, they wanted with the first pick, anyway.

This Celtics season is legit cursed.

Irving's absence already has provided a boost to Boston's rivals and - based on Toronto's recent play and annual deference to James - probably eased the Cavaliers' road to a fourth consecutive Finals. Being slotted against the victor of a Kyrie-less Boston versus Wizards, Heat, or Bucks series in the conference semi's would be a much more favorable match-up than facing off against what would probably be the No. 1 seed Raptors.

In the upcoming surgery, two screws will be removed.

Irving started in this year's All-Star Game and was having the best year of his career. The initial timetable put Irving on track to possibly return to the lineup during Boston's first-round playoff series. It's not that hard to envision an injury-ravaged Boston team falling in the first round. He's only scored 20 points 11 times this season.

A potential conference semi-finals matchup with his old team was firmly on the cards, and still could be, but any chance of the Celtics getting through LeBron and his squad have surely been squashed by this devastating news. Opportunities to create offense off the dribble should serve them well next season, when those skills will be relied on less frequently and in more advantageous matchups.

With or without Irving, things will need to change if the Bucks want to advance into the second round of the playoffs. But the Cavaliers happily will take that dip in individual motivation if it means avoiding Boston's most risky player. LeBron vs. Giannis on the biggest stage in the National Basketball Association is something everyone wants to see.

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