Based on the latest Boston Celtics rumors, the team will be without their top star not only for the rest of the NBA season but also the postseason. A recent report via ESPN has said the team will be shutting down Irving with just four games left until the NBA Playoffs start. The breaking news arrives in conjunction with the announcement that Irving needs another surgery for his knee injury. It will be unfortunate news for Boston fans, as they had a team that still seemed like a contender in the Eastern Conference, at least when Irving was healthy.
On Thursday afternoon, ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted the first indication that Kyrie Irving was going to miss the rest of the season. Wojnarowski cited “sources” as saying that the “aftermath of knee surgery” was leading to the team’s decision. He would later add more to that initial report, including confirmation that the rumors look to be true. Irving is scheduled to undergo another procedure on his left knee this coming Saturday, resulting in the decision to shut him down for the season and playoffs.
The new surgery will be to remove two screws from Irving’s patella that were inserted after a 2015 operation. In addition, there was said to be some infection discovered in that area that will need to be cleaned out. Due to the procedure, Irving is expected to be on the shelf for about four or five months. All of that means Boston’s run at the NBA championship is on hold.
The Celtics rumors of Irving’s absence for the playoffs will be especially tough to take for fans who already saw one of their newest stars, Gordon Hayward, lost for the entire season due to a bad injury. Hayward was injured in the team’s opening game against the Cleveland Cavaliers and required surgery which shut him down for the season. Despite that, Irving and the talented Celtics’ roster managed to stay in contention for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. As of right now, they are sitting in the No. 2 spot with the Toronto Raptors just ahead of them at the top.
With Kyrie Irving sidelined, it marks the second-straight postseason that a top star ends up being hurt. In last year’s postseason, the team looked like they had a legitimate shot at potentially defeating LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the East behind guard Isaiah Thomas. However, Thomas became hurt during that series and was unable to contribute. The rest was history as Thomas was a major component of the trade last summer that brought Kyrie Irving from the Cavs to the Celtics.
If the NBA Playoffs started today, the Boston Celtics (53-25) would open with a first-round matchup against the No. 7 seed Washington Wizards. The winner would move on to take on the winner of a battle between No. 3 seed Cleveland and No. 6 seed Miami in the second round. As of this report, Boston is a 55 to 1 odds to win the NBA title, which are a drop from their previous spot. Teams ahead of them include the Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, and Golden State Warriors.
The Celtics have just four games left on their schedule with home games against Chicago and Atlanta, followed by a game at Washington in a playoff preview. They’ll close the season with a home game hosting the Brooklyn Nets.