Kyrie Irving struggling, playing with foot strain
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving looks like a shade of his former self lately as he struggles to play through injury. Would taking a game off to recover help? Problem is, there’s no margin for error left. The Cavs and Chicago Bulls are tied 2-2 in their very gritty second round playoff series. Both teams are two losses away from elimination. Tough situation, especially with the Cavs already missing injured forward Kevin Love. Here’s the Cleveland Plain Dealer reporting:
It’s been a frustrating last few games for Irving, who has been diagnosed with a right foot strain. He gave everything he had on Sunday, but the three-time All-Star still couldn’t prevent the thoughts from creeping into his head: He started to feel like he had a question for his teammates.
“I asked them if they still wanted me out there,” he revealed after Cleveland’s 86-84 Game 4 win against Chicago.
This is not the same unstoppable offensive force who stunned San Antonio for 57 points in March; or the player who exploded for 30 points in his playoff debut against Boston, squashing any talk about his readiness for the NBA’s biggest stage.
This is a wounded youngster who scored 12 points on Sunday and is now averaging 11.5 points on 5-of-23 (21 percent) shooting in the last two games. But his numbers, while they are well below Irving’s standards, don’t seem to matter to his teammates. One of them, Iman Shumpert, didn’t hear Irving’s pointed query, but there wouldn’t have been much to ponder.
“I definitely always want him out there if he can go,” Shumpert said after the game. “We will be hurt after the season. Right now we have to get wins.”