Boston has already clinched their playoff spot but how long can they withstand this latest setback?
At one moment, the Boston Celtics were playing extremely good basketball even without Gordon Hayward. They even held the best record in the NBA during the early months of the NBA. Then the next moment, the injuries began to pile up and so were the Celtics' losses. Then, Kyrie Irving is out for the remainder of the regular season AND the playoffs.
Yes, in an unexpected turn of events, Kyrie Irving is scheduled to undergo a second surgery for his left knee after an infection was found which was said to be a complication from his recent surgery last month. The second procedure will require 4 to 5 months of recovery. With the playoffs coming up, this is definitely the last thing these Celtics will need: missing their experienced leader.
How far can Boston go into the playoffs without Kyrie Irving?
If we are to look at the initial playoff bracket, the Celtics will face the Washington Wizards. Assuming that the Celtics can beat the Wizards, they will face the winner of the Cleveland Cavaliers-Miami Heat match-up. If they will face the Heat in the second round, Boston MIGHT have a chance but a Cavaliers-Celtics match-up? Frankly speaking, this pundit on wheels won't be surprised if the Cavs sweep the Celtics. Why? They have no one on their team who can actually man up LeBron James.
Fortunately for Boston, they have 6 other guys who have been scoring in double-digits this season. Jaylen Brown is currently the Celtics' second-leading scorer, averaging 14 points per game followed by Jayson Tatum who is averaging 13 points. And both young guys have proven that they can lead Boston to victory without Kyrie Irving. Can they deliver in the playoffs? That's up for another debate for another time.
Prediction: Boston will reach the second round
Here's the thing, folks, the Wizards have been playing without John Wall for most of the season so it's a well-matched series. However, if you look back at last season's playoffs, it was the Wizards who actually pushed Boston to a full 7-game series so we can expect pretty much the same thing. And, Boston is still relatively a young team so if they can make it past the second round, it can be considered as a miracle. But then, we all know that nothing is impossible in the NBA, especially in the playoffs. And, some pundits are coming to believe that the Celtics are built to withstand Kyrie Irving's long-term absence.