Heading into the NBA finals for only the second time in franchise history, the Cleveland Cavaliers are crossing their fingers that Kyrie Irving speeds up his healing process, although it’s not looking promising so far.
Maybe David Blatt saying that Irving hasn’t looked like himself in practice is a way of confusing the enemy, in this case the Golden State Warriors, but considering how Irving missed two games in the conference finals and played some very limited or bad minutes in other games, especially during the conference semifinals against the Chicago Bulls, it’s safe to say his injuries and pains aren’t just going to disappear.
And it’s a shame, because despite having LeBron James, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Tristan Thompson, Timofey Mozgov and the human ankle breaker known as Matthew Dellavedova, the Cavaliers are underdogs against a very good (maybe historically good) Warriors team, that isn’t exactly short on depth and quality on its bench. Losing Kevin Love is a blow, and having a Irving that’s far from himself is also very difficult.
Irving is averaging 18.7 points in this postseason, but those mostly came in the first series against the Celtics. Since game 3 against the Bulls, he’s averaged only 30 minutes a night, shooting 41.9% from the field and scoring just 13.3 points per game. His net rating in the postseason is a whopping +17 which means the Cavaliers really need him on the floor, but right now it’s more about wishful thinking than careful and accurate planning.