In Saturday’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving left the game for a few minutes and then quickly returned in the fourth to finish the game. Holding his left hand, Irving left to the locker room to have it further examined by the Cavaliers medical staff. X-rays turned up negative, and it was diagnosed as a bruised left index finger. He was cleared to go back into the game and ended up playing 37 minutes. He finished with a season-low nine points.
The Cleveland Clinic Sports Health had a different view of Irving’s left index finger. An MRI and CT Scan on Monday revealed a hairline fracture in the finger that will keep him out four weeks. Status on the injury will be update within the next two weeks, but for now Irving will wear and taped-up splint on his injured left finger.
If you know anything about Irving, it should be that he has had bad injury habits over the past few years. He had some problems at St. Patrick High School, only played 11 games in his collegiate career due to a severe ligament injury in his right big toe, only played 51 games in his rookie season due to a couple of injuries and the most recent summer fiasco with him punching a wall out of frustration. Yeah, we all know that Kyrie seems to be susceptible to injuries. As Cavs fans should we be concerned? In my opinion, this is just precautionary. Why risk something with how things have been going lately? I’m not saying they should bomb because Irving’s out, but the risk is just too high to force him back right away instead of having him rest. Who knows, he may be fine after two weeks.
With Irving averaging 22.9 points, 5.6 assists and 3.7 rebounds it is a horrible blow to a team that is 2-8 at the moment and is struggling with depth and inconsistency. Irving is also shooting. Kyrie currently stands at sixth in the NBA in points scored per game, so that puts the loss of Irving into perspective a little more. He is also shooting 46.3 percent from the field, 39.1 percent from three and 82.5 percent from the free throw line.
As far as depth goes, one of the Cavaliers weakest positions on the bench is at the point guard. Donald Sloan, who has played in eight games so far this season, is the No. 1 backup right now, and that isn’t promising at all. He is not capable of running the Cavs offense at this time, and his season averages can attest to that. He is averaging 10.1 minutes, 2.6 points and 2.0 assists, while the man behind him, Jeremy Pargo, is averaging 7.7 minutes, 2.7 points and 1.3 assists in the three games he has found playing time in.
Regarding other options, Kevin Anderson has played one exhibition game for the Canton Charge, and played fairly well. If you can remember, Anderson was in training camp with the Cavaliers for a small amount of time. He shot 8-of-14 from the field and registered 23 points in the exhibition loss Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
HoopsHype has a great list here of available point guards that the Cavaliers may be able to pick up in Irving’s one-month absence. Yep, the list is pretty bad and doesn’t offer anything promising for the Cavs over the next four weeks. If you thought the bench was bad before, then you better prepare for the worst.
This is tough, but Cavs fans just need to pull through it. It is in the best interest of the team to rest Irving at this point, so arguing that he’s not tough enough is just bogus because it wasn’t up to him. Heal up Kyrie, and come back even stronger in a month.