The Cleveland Cavaliers may have just gotten some devastating news, with a rumor that guard Kyrie Irving will miss the rest of the NBA Finals after suffering a knee injury during overtime of his team’s Game 1 loss.
Irving fell hard to the floor and hobbled to the locker room early in the extra frame. He was limping heavily and looked quite upset, taking off his jersey and throwing it to the ground.
Now rumors indicate that the Cleveland Cavaliers guard is done for the series.
The sports site Waiting For Next Year recounted an exchange between Dan Patrick and Jon Barry that spelled out the grim prognosis.
“The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to bounce back on Sunday, but according to Jon Barry in an interview with Dan Patrick, they’re not counting on Kyrie Irving to be a part of it. Barry couldn’t pinpoint which injury has the Cavaliers so worried, but he heard someone say that they think he’s done.
“‘I heard something from a Cavalier person – and this is not documented – but they feel like he’s done for the series.'”
If true, it would likely be devastating for the Cavaliers’ title hopes. The team was already hit by the injury bug when big man Kevin Love went down with a shoulder injury, and in Game 1, the team relied almost exclusively on LeBron James in the offensive end for long stretches.
After the game, the team’s medical staff determined that Kyrie Irving did not tear his ACL or MCL but gave no further update on the severity of the injury.
“It was very tough to see,” James said. “I’ve seen how hard he worked these last eight days just to get himself to play at this level tonight.”
The Cavaliers were perhaps inches away from avoiding the injury. After Kyrie Irving blocked Stephen Curry’s layup attempt with less than 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers had the ball and the score tied. LeBron James missed a stepback jumper as time wound down, but Iman Shumpert corralled the rebound and threw up a desperate three-point attempt that just barely missed.
The Cavaliers will suffer at both ends of the court if Irving remains out. He was key defensively in Thursday’s contest, holding league MVP Stephen Curry to 1-of-5 shooting and four points. Curry hit 8 of 14 shots for 19 points against all other Cleveland defenders.
It’s unclear how much credence there is to the Cleveland Cavaliers rumors, and the team has not yet announced how long Kyrie Irving could miss, but with the team in a 1-0 hole, any missed games would be critical.
[Image via Getty Images/Ezra Shaw]