Kyrie Irving knows all about injuries, unfortunately. The 2014-15 season was the healthiest he’s been, playing in 75 of the possible 82 regular season games, but he missed the most important games of his career in the playoffs and the NBA Finals.
Aside from that, Irving has played 51 of 66 games in 2012, 59 of 82 games in 2013, 71 of 82 games in 2014, and 53 of 82 games this 2015-16 season.
Irving took the fractured kneecap injury near the end of Game 1 of the NBA Finals harder than anyone, because no one wanted to be out there helping his team more than Kyrie. So watching colleagues like Chris Paul of the Clippers and Stephen Curry of the Warriors go down for an extended time with injuries hits him personally.
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Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported on Irving’s comments.
“I’m watching TV and I’m seeing CP come out and you could tell he’s really frustrated and Steph goes down on a freakish play that could have happened to anyone but he’s already coming back from the ankle sprain and he comes out and sprains his MCL and that’s just … it just sucks, it absolutely sucks,” Irving said after practice Wednesday.
“To be out for the series or out for a number of weeks, especially at the highest level of intensity of basketball that we’ve played basically in our whole entire lives is what it all boils down to in the regular season, definitely you’ve got to empathize with those guys.
“But, at the end of the day they still have other guys in that locker room that have to pick up the pieces and they have it figure it out. It’s just part of the playoffs.”
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Without Love for most of the postseason and with a beat-up Irving, the Cavs were still able to reach the Finals and get within two wins of an NBA Championship. The Cavs have made it an emphasis to get in the weight room and take care of their bodies this season, but there’s also a lot of luck involved in staying healthy for the run.
“That’s what it’s about,” Irving said. “It’s a lot of luck. Guys just doing work in the weight room, staying ready every single game and doing whatever is possible so if something does happen you have a clear conscience, you can look yourself in the mirror and say you did everything possible to be as healthy as you could be for that time and that game and living in that moment. That’s the only thing that matters. Now if something happens, it happens. For us it’s just continuing to maintain our work in the weight room and on the court.”
Alex Sabri ·
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The Cavs will try to take a 1-0 series lead against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday when the second round begins.