Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt has conceded that point guard Kyrie Irving still isn’t 100 percent with the NBA Finals 2015 set to begin on Thursday night.
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Irving has been struggling with foot and knee problems through the majority of the post-season, forcing him to miss time against both the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks in the last two match-ups.
While the Cavs have succeeded without him to this point having been crowned Eastern Conference champions, they will need him against the Golden State Warriors on both ends of the court in order to give them the best possible chance of prevailing.
However, Blatt didn’t sound too optimistic about his chances of being at full strength after going through practice on Sunday.
Kyrie Irving took part in some of today's practice. David Blatt says he's still not himself yet.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 31, 2015
As well as having the league’s best defense, the Warriors also have a point guard in Stephen Curry who will take some stopping.
If Cleveland are unable to at least limit him, then they could be facing serious problems in the upcoming match-up as Matthew Dellavedova will likely be asked to play significant minutes guarding him with LeBron James undoubtedly set to switch up and defend him too at times.
Irving would undoubtedly have benefited from having a long break between the Eastern Conference Finals and the Finals which would have given him the best possible chance of recovering.
However, it doesn’t appear as though it will be long enough given that he is still struggling, and it remains to be seen how much of an influence he is capable of having on the season finale.