Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving is likely to miss the rest of the month of March and possibly some time in April after suffering a left shoulder sprain over the weekend.
According to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, Irving will be sidelined 3-4 weeks. There are about 5 1/2 weeks left in the season and under no circumstances should Kyrie Irving play in even one game left this season.
The thing about Irving is he might be a top three player in the league in as soon as three or four years. He is a terrific scorer, distributer and has a penchant to hit a big shot or four when his team needs it. He is still learning as a defender (and that is being kind) and he has been injury prone in the early part of his career. And it is not even that he keeps dealing with injuries to one part of his body. A toe injury in college, a broken hand, a sprained right shoulder last year, a broken nose this season and now the left shoulder sprain.
Right now it just feels like bad luck but at this point there is nothing for Irving or the Cavs to gain by having him play again this season.
To be clear, this is not tanking we are talking about. There is just no need to risk re-injuring the shoulder or making it worse. This will give Dion Waiters time to develop as a ball handler and give the Cavs time to figure out how much they like Shaun Livingston (though I am pretty sure they like him a lot as a back up).
While what the Cavs should do in benching Irving the rest of the season is not tanking per se, the Cavs currently have the fourth worst record in the league, so losing a few more games to get a few more ping pong balls would not be the worst thing in the world. While this is not the strongest draft, no one ever sneezed at getting a top three pick.
The Cavs could use a guy like Kentucky's Nerlens Noel, who might not make it past the third pick regardless of a torn ACL that put him out likely till next fall.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have a very nice future. Besides Irving's brilliance and Waiters looking like a perfect off-the-bench scorer, they also have second-year man Tristan Thompson, who has been really impressive since Anderson Varejao went down due to injury. Tyler Zeller looks like a rotation big man and they have a boat load of salary cap space.
No need to risk the future by letting their franchise player get a week and a half of basketball in at the end of the season.
Photo: Day Life