Despite suiting up for Sunday's game against Philadelphia, Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving told Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal that he "had a feeling" that he broke his finger the previous night against the Mavericks.
"I just knew it wasn’t a jammed finger," Irving said. "I’ve jammed almost every finger on my hand, so I just knew when it started turning black and blue."
Irving finished Saturday's game with 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting despite not recording an assist, and then came out and played a whopping 37 minutes the following day in a narrow loss to the 76ers. It was his season-low nine-point performance against Philadelphia that made it quite clear the former No. 1 overall pick was simply not the same type of player with only one good hand.
"I kind of knew I couldn’t play with it," he said. "I had one hand and I couldn’t hold onto the ball. Especially at the end of the game in the fourth quarter, that’s when I’m at my best, and I just couldn’t put it in my left hand or make any moves. It was frustrating."
While the Cavs may have instead opted to keep playing Irving under the guise that he would be able to work through the injury, head coach Byron Scott emphatically stated on Tuesday that his star point guard will be shut down for roughly the next month of action. One direct hit to his finger and Irving could potentially require extensive surgery and miss a significant amount of time, so it's clear the Cavaliers want to take their lumps now in order to keep their franchise player healthy for the long haul.