BOSTON — Celtics coach Brad Stevens mentioned it is “killing” Kyrie Irving to not be on the ground for the Eastern Conference finals in opposition to his former staff however confused that the injured All-Star level guard is “in a great place” as he recovers from final month’s knee surgical procedure.
Irving had faraway from a balky left knee in early April, ending his first season with the Celtics. Boston acquired Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers in August in a jaw-dropping swap between East rivals.
The Celtics and Cavaliers are tied at 2 coming into Wednesday night time’s Game 5 of the convention finals.
“In our sit-downs, or just our casual conversations, he seems to be in a great place,” Stevens mentioned. “It’s killing him to not be out on the ground. But I believe that may be the case, clearly, any time you are taking part in this deep into the playoffs, particularly in a brand new place. Other than that, his restoration goes nice. We’re enthusiastic about that. But he appears to be in a very good place.”
Irving earned All-Star honors whereas guiding the Celtics by way of a lot of what can be a 55-win marketing campaign. His knee compelled him to close down in mid-March and, after a minimally invasive process wasn’t sufficient to get him again on the courtroom, he elected for a extra invasive process aimed toward having him wholesome for the beginning of the 2018-19 marketing campaign.
Irving has been a well-recognized presence on the Celtics bench throughout dwelling video games all through the postseason, and teammates, particularly new place to begin guard Terry Rozier, have raved in regards to the management and steering he has supplied behind the scenes.
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue mentioned earlier than Game 5 that he has not spoken to or interacted with Irving throughout the collection apart from seeing him on the finish of the bench throughout Celtics dwelling video games.
Cleveland guard JR Smith informed ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that so far as he is aware of, not one of the Cavs have caught up with Irving throughout the collection, both. However, he added there was no dangerous blood between him and his former backcourt mate, whom he lately known as his “kid brother” on a podcast look with former New York Giants large receiver Victor Cruz.