Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving is out for the rest of the NBA Finals 2015, but the Cavs are relishing their underdogs tag against the Golden State Warriors.
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Irving suffered a fractured kneecap during Game 1 on Thursday night and after undergoing successful surgery will now miss the rest of the series.
That in turn has left many wondering if there is any way back for the Cavs, but LeBron James has insisted that they will use their underdog tag to their advantage and try to upset the odds.
“[I] understand that we were the underdog coming into the series, and with Kyrie being out, people are writing us off. So, I mean, that’s fine. That’s fine. I’m motivated to get our guys ready to go tomorrow [for Game 2], and we will be ready.,” he said, as reported by ESPN.
Coach David Blatt reiterated his point and urged his team to go out to win as they look to overturn their 1-0 deficit and try to even up the series at the Oracle Arena in Game 2 on Sunday night.
Cleveland are already without the services of Kevin Love, and they have faced further criticism in the aftermath of Irving’s injury even though it was stressed that it was caused by contact during the game and not his ongoing issues.
The 23-year-old has struggled all post-season with knee tendinitis, and reports this past week claimed that his father and agent were at odds with the organisation over their handling of his situation.
While some will argue that Irving spent too long on the court on Thursday night as he continued to insist that he would play through the pain barrier, Blatt was keen to stress that there was no minutes restriction placed on him by the medical staff and his setback was not a result of the previous issues.