Should the Cleveland Cavaliers Depend on Irving?
So with all this promise, why would I be asking if his team can depend on him?
After playing one season at Duke, Irving is now in his second season in the NBA. In his one year at Duke, he only played 11 games for the Blue Devils because he was sidelined with a toe injury that forced him to miss most of the season.
In his rookie season with the Cavaliers, he managed to stay relatively healthy and played in 51 of the 66-game lockout shortened regular season. This year with Cleveland, it appears Irving will only play in 49 out of 82 games and will sit out the remainder of the season because of a shoulder injury.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume he will miss the remainder of this NBA season, which is what it sounds like the Cleveland coaching staff will do because they want to be very cautious with his health.
So, between Kyrie Irving’s college and pro career, he has played in 111 out of a possible 185 games. That’s only 60%! In case you’re not good with math, that’s only a little over half!
All signs point toward Irving being the next great point guard in the league and becoming an NBA star, but he can’t do any of that if he can’t stay on the court. And the Cleveland Cavaliers can’t plan on him leading them back into relevance in the Eastern Conference if he’s spending all his time with the trainers.
Fortunately for Cavs fans, Irving is still just 20 years old. He should be in his junior season at Duke right now and his body is likely still adjusting to the grind and physicality of the NBA. He still has a few years before he even reaches his prime so there’s no reason to panic yet.
But, with Irving’s recent shoulder injury, that means he has now had issues with a toe, broken hand, finger, concussion, broken jaw, and knee. All the injuries appear to be separate from each other, but this list is piling up rather quickly for a guy who’s only been on the scene for three years.
When he’s on the court, Irving is tough to stop. The key for the Cavaliers is making sure Irving’s body isn’t the thing that ends up stopping him.