The right knee sprain Kyrie Irving suffered in the Boston Celtics’ loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday “isn’t serious,” and the star point guard will be day-to-day, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Irving hurt his knee with around four minutes remaining in the second quarter. Without him, the Celtics blew a 28-point lead and lost the game, 123-112.
According to ESPN.com: “It was the largest comeback in the NBA in the past two seasons and the largest in Clippers history. It was the biggest blown lead by the Celtics since Dec. 5, 2003. And it came two nights after Boston gave up an 18-point lead to the Los Angeles Lakers at TD Garden.”
After the game, Celtics forward Marcus Morris ripped the team’s performance:
“I mean, for me, it’s not really about the loss. It’s about the attitude that we’re playing with. Guys are hanging their head. It’s just not fun, it’s not fun. We’re not competing at a high level. Even when we’re winning it’s still not fun. I just don’t see the joy in the game.
“I watch all these other teams in the league, guys up on the bench, up on the court; they’re doing stuff that looks like they’re enjoying their teammate’s success, they’re enjoying everything and they’re playing together. And when I look at us, I just see a bunch of individuals.”
The loss dropped the Celtics to 35-21 and fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Despite the difficulties they have had meshing and figuring out their roles, the team isn’t exactly facing dire straits. But Morris’ comments had to register concern, especially considering the Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks all got better at the trade deadline.
One player who hasn’t registered any concern with his play on the court is Irving. The 26-year-old point guard is having another excellent season, averaging 23.6 points, 6.9 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting 49.8 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from three. He remains the team’s focal point on offense and one of the most dangerous perimeter threats in the NBA.
If he misses any more time, the Celtics have an excellent contingency plan in Terry Rozier, who thrived in last season’s postseason as the starter when Irving was injured. Rozier averaged 16.5 points and 5.7 assists in 36.6 minutes per game in that role, though he’s been less impressive coming off the bench this year (9.1 PPG, 3.2 APG in 23.1 MPG).
But Irving is the key on offense. The fact that his injury is reportedly not serious is excellent news for Boston.
Courtesy: Bleacher Report