After playing the first half of Sunday night’s loss to the Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving missed the entire second half of the game due to knee soreness.
In Sunday night’s 99-97 loss to the Indiana Pacers, Celtics fans experienced the difference between life with Kyrie and like without him. In a tale of two halves, Boston had everything going in taking a 10-point lead into the half.
However, with Irving not coming out for the second half of the game, Victor Oladipo and the Pacers rallied to overtake the Celtics and eventually the game. While Boston did battle and have a chance to win the game, Kyrie Irving’s playmaking ability was missed down the stretch.
With Al Horford and Jaylen Brown also out, the team didn’t have a go to guy in the last minutes of the game. That really showed when Terry Rozier was the man to take the potential game-tying shot as the final seconds expired.
What the game highlighted is that the Boston Celtics can afford to rest Irving and have a chance to win most games. Without him, however, they won’t have much of a chance when games really count in May and possibly into June.
So, that means it is worth resting him now to save him for those big moments. While he has no deep concern about the knee, Irving did echo the possibility of more rest following the game.
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"“I think [rest] will probably be the best thing, just instead of kind of hoping it gets better over the two or three days that it usually does,” Irving said, via ESPN. “it’s aching a little bit more than I wanted it to now, so I’m taking the necessary time.”"
Irving did sit out last Saturday’s game against the Chicago Bulls before returning to play against Minnesota on Thursday night. He has had time to rest, which makes the soreness he is experiencing worrisome even if he is not worried himself.
Locked in at the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference, now is the time to give Irving the rest he needs. Players like Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier have proven they can pick up the slack.
Neither player can take over a game like Kyrie Irving can. Therefore, that knee needs to be healthy to take this team deep into the playoffs.
Daniel Theis scheduled to have an MRI
When the injury bug hits this team, it really strikes. Not only did Irving miss the second half of the game due a knee, rookie big man Daniel Theis also injured his knee during the game.
According to NBC Sports Boston’s A.Sherrod Blakely, Theis will have an MRI performed Monday morning after takes a knee during the 99-97 loss.
Head coach Brad Stevens said after the game that he doesn’t think it is anything more than a knee-to-knee or knee-to-thigh type injury. Theis and the team should know Monday if the injury is something more serious. Preliminary indications are that it is something that may require rest as well.
While not as important as Kyrie Irving, Theis is still an important factor off the Celtics bench.
When it comes to Kyrie Irving, Stevens is all about getting his star guard some rest and having him ready for the playoffs. That also goes for Al Horford and Jaylen Brown.
"“Yeah. We got to get Kyrie (Irving) feeling great, we got to get Al (Horford) feeling better, got to get Jaylen Brown back, we got a lot of work to do here with regards to training staff and health,” Stevens said after the game, via Celtics.com. “Again, none of those things seem to be long term concerns, but we are going to make sure that obviously we’re very alert. As we said if he could’ve kept going, but it was less than 100 percent that wouldn’t have been worth it right now.”"
As of right now, the team has to prepare to take on the Washington Wizards at the TD Garden on Wednesday. They will probably be without Irving, Brown and possibly Daniel Theis.