If the Boston Celtics have any hope of making a deep postseason run, they’ll need Kyrie Irving to be healthy and ready to go.
Irving has been the catalyst for the Celtics’ offense for the majority of the season, but a nagging knee injury has kept the star point guard out of the fold of late. There reportedly is no structural damage in Irving’s knee, but as he continues to miss games, it’s only natural for concern to develop regarding his status for the remainder of the season.
Chris Broussard only made this concern grow during his Wednesday appearance on FOX Sports 1’s “The Herd.” While Broussard technically didn’t report anything concrete, his update on Irving’s knee injury certainly isn’t favorable for Boston.
“I will say this: There is some sentiment within the Celtics organization — let’s see what happens with the second opinion — that possibly, this is far from definite and I don’t want to sound the alarm, but possibly, this could put his season in jeopardy. If that’s the case, then Danny Ainge is looking more at, ‘You know what, if it’s the case, we’ll rest him now.’ Don’t push him through this season just to have him play in the playoffs when the knee’s not really right. Let’s get him healthy, and then he and (Gordon) Hayward come back next season. Now, I’m not saying that’s gonna happen. I’m just saying there is some thinking that let’s see what happens with this.”
It’s tough to argue with Broussard’s logic if Irving’s injury is more serious than currently perceived. Boston is primed to compete for an NBA title next season with Hayward back in the mix, and worsening Irving’s injury only will throw a wrench into those plans. While the two cases are far from identical, we’ve seen in the case of Isaiah Thomas the damage that can be done from playing through injury.
Irving’s health is critical for the Celtics’ playoff chances, but he’s already the only injured player on the roster. Boston seemingly has a separate unit made up of its crew of walking wounded, which will make competing in the postseason all the more difficult.