The Celtics, this whole season, have been highly regarded as a top three NBA team. This roster is crazy good and the golden coin of the Celtics team, Kyrie Irving, is out for the remainder of the season.
Throughout Kyrie’s whole career, he has been talked about as the player with the best ball handling in the NBA right now and maybe even of all time. The Celtics acquired him during the off season in a multi-player trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers – and as soon as this went through, the talk of a championship began.
Everyone knew Kyrie could ball, but he has never been able to show it. In his early years in Cleveland, he was the only good player on a very bad team, and it’s very hard to carry a team when you are 20 years old. Even though he was so young, he still managed to put up good numbers, averaging 21.3 points, 5.9 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game.
When LeBron James suddenly decided to return to the Cavaliers in 2014, it instantly put Kyrie in the backseat as the leader of this team and he became a second option for a loaded roster. This Cavs team, with the trio of Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and Kevin Love, made many trips to the finals, even though Kyrie was injured during the 2015 playoffs. By the time the 2017 finals rolled around, he made lots of big plays, including the game-winning three in game 7 of the 2016 finals to win the series. Once Kyrie got his ring, there were rumors that he might leave Cleveland to go get his own team and leave the shadow of the greatest of all time.
During the 2017 offseason, Kyrie was traded to the Boston Celtics and it seemed as if he couldn’t be happier. He has helped a group of really young players come together and play amazing. During his first season as a Celtic, he has averaged 24.4 points, 5.1 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game. These stats are not too different from his pre-LeBron performance, but the difference is that, he’s the leader of this young Celtics team. He has been a huge part in the Celtics becoming the number two team in the Eastern Conference.
However, even though he has had a very successful career, he has always had problems with his left knee. During this season, he re-aggravated this knee yet again and was required to get surgery to attempt to fix it.
Thursday afternoon, news came out that Kyrie Irving will miss the remainder of the 2017-2018 regular season, along with the playoffs. This takes the Celtics almost completely, if not all the way, out of the conversation. Without Kyrie, the Celtics will have to start Terry Rozier at point guard. While Rozier has made tremendous strides this season, he will not be able to play to the level of Kyrie. This also means some of their talented young players such as Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart will need to help carry the load offensively.