Hello Legend faithful. Time to answer the question that is no doubt on the top of all of your minds, how do the Cavs handle precocious rookie Kyrie Irving going down the stretch? The answer is simple. Bench him. Send him to Aruba (or any nice tropical get-away). Stick him in a tub full of ice for a month or three. Do anything besides run him out there for a grueling stretch of meaningless games.
In case you haven’t noticed, the Cavs have dropped nine straight games and have drifted from playoff contention in the top heavy Eastern Conference to the league’s 4th worst record. Injuries to Booby Gibson and Anderson Varejao and the trade of Ramon Sessions to L.A. have left the Cavs reeling. Only one game in the nine game losing streak was even close, an overtime loss to the Hawks. With Kyrie home nursing an injured shoulder, last night’s nine man rotation against the Bucks featured Antawn Jamison, Alonzo Gee, Tristan Thompson (starting at Center, D’oh!), Anthony Parker, David Sloan, Luke Walton, Omri Casspi, Lester Hudson, and Samardo Samuels. Seriously, I didn’t make any of those names up.
Mr. Irving has exceeded expectations this year, to see some flat out gushing click here. He’s proved all he has to prove. Let’s just get him out of the damn lineup the rest of the way. Kyrie has played in 46 games of a condensed season to date. He only played in 13 games his one college season. He takes the ball to the hole with reckless abandon and takes lots o bumps. Starting Friday, the Cavs have 14 games in 20 days to end the season. They have no playoff hopes. They do have lots of draft picks. The goal is ping pong balls now.
In baseball, rookie pitchers are often kept on pitch counts and inning limits to protect their arms. Why not do the same thing here? I’m pretty sure Kyrie has already gone over the innings quota for the season. He is the franchise, why not protect him?
There are a few ways this could play out. The Cavs could milk the shoulder injury, which has him out 7-10 days anyway. Maybe let him play 4 games out of the last 14. I guess I’d be okay with that. The Cavs could also limit his minutes to, like, 20 a game to make sure his body doesn’t crumble. Ehh, I’m not so hot on that. It’d probably piss him off. That leaves us with my favorite solution which is have the GM hold a press conference. At said press conference Mr. Grant will say “we’re sitting Kyrie Irving for the rest of the season because the NBA’s ludicrous scheduling threatens serious bodily harm to our only hope. Please direct all questions, concerns, and comments to the scheduling wizards at the league office who thought the 2011-2012 schedule would not be a complete disaster.”
Everyone wins. Kyrie gets to rest and will not risk further injury. The Cavs can let Alonzo Gee continue to get experience. Tristan Thompson can continue to try to develop some moves down low. The Cavs can find out if David Sloan, Lester Hudson, or D-League player X can be a viable backup point guard. And, MORE PING PONG BALLS!
About the Author: I am a Cleveland sports and Buffalo Sabres fanatic. I'm currently living in Erie, but even when I'm not there, Erie runs deep in me. I'm an ex multi-sport goalie, and we goalies tend to see things a bit differently. I went to college with Cecilio's Scribe and I am also a Big Red afficiando. Otherwise my college sports loyalties are all over the place. I try to keep my posts light, but I'm a Cleveland fan so the occassional rant is possible (inevitable?).