The Cleveland Cavaliers finished off Chicago and swept past Atlanta, even when Kyrie Irving wasn’t available.
Now they have to find their way past the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals without him.
Irving has a fractured left kneecap and will have surgery that could sideline him for three to four months, the Cavaliers said yesterday.
Already without Kevin Love, the Cavaliers are now without their All-Star point guard, who had been playing in pain for most of the postseason and was injured again in the final minutes of Game 1 on Thursday night.
“As far as how we prepare, we’ve been through this. We’ve played games without Kevin, without Kyrie,” coach David Blatt said Friday, before the team announced Irving’s diagnosis. “We know how we want to play when they’re not in there. From that standpoint, we can prepare. Our main concern right now though is just Kyrie’s health. That’s all.”
The Cavaliers said an MRI exam Friday at Stanford Sports Medicine Clinic revealed the injury and that surgery will be performed at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland by Cavaliers head team physician Dr. Richard Parker.
Irving limped off the court during overtime of Cleveland’s 108-100 loss on Thursday night and left the arena on crutches. He has been bothered by foot and then knee pain for most of his first postseason, sitting out the second half of the series-clinching victory over Chicago in the second round.