Tyronn Lue says it’s tough to see Kyrie Irving on the other side
This time last year, the Cleveland Cavaliers were steamrolling their way to another NBA Finals appearance. Fast-forward to this season and they have done it without the services of point guard Kyrie Irving.
There is no doubt that Irving played an integral role in Cleveland’s title runs over the past several years. According to Ben Axelrod of WKYC, head coach Tyronn Lue admitted it will be tough to see him on the other sideline:
“It’s tough to see him over there, when we did play against him, because he was a big part of what he did.”
It goes without saying that Irving was an important factor in the team’s dynamic. His presence gave the Cavaliers another bonafide playmaker outside of small forward LeBron James, which is something they have sorely missed all year long. Ever since his departure, Cleveland has scrambled to try and fill the void he left when he departed for Boston.
Fortunately, Lue will not have to worry about constructing a game plan to contain his former star player. Irving was ruled out for the final 22 games and playoffs after undergoing knee surgery. That said, his absence from this series should help alleviate Lue’s pain from having to see Irving on the opposing team.
Despite his absence, Boston has proven to be nearly every bit as formidable as they have been all season. The Celtics’ young core has stepped up nicely without Irving and will not be going down without a good fight. Although Lue has been spared from Irving’s wrath in these playoffs, the time will come eventually when the young star will look to clay claim to the East.