It turns out that Celtics guard Kyrie Irving was indeed serious about ‘definitely’ missing some games down the stretch, as he will miss Tuesday’s head-to-head with the Cavaliers with what the team is calling “load management.”
(It’s a fancy way of calling this a rest night for the 27-year-old Irving.)
This is something Irving acknowledged as a possibility last week, saying that seeding is not as important as being 100 percent in the 2019 NBA Playoffs. And it’s also something the C’s can likely get away with, as the Celtics are going against a Cleveland squad that’s won just 19 of their 74 games to date this season, the second-fewest in the Eastern Conference.
Irving, meanwhile, said that going back to Cleveland means nothing to him these days.
But the decision to rest Irving is not going to be a popular one, as it comes in the middle of a four-game losing streak for the Celtics, and on the heels of Irving essentially saying nobody else knows how to get the Celtics back on track like he does.
“Being in a team environment and wanting to accomplish something very great, everyone always wants to say, ‘Oh you need to do this, you need to do that.’ Nobody [expletive] knows. Nobody’s been in my position. Nobody here,” Irving said after Sunday’s loss to the Spurs. “I don’t expect anyone here to understand that.
“Everybody can just speak on it, and give their opinion about what would be best for it.”
Good news? The Celtics are 10-2 without Irving this season.