Apr 10, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Injured player Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving stands on the court as confetti drops from the ceiling after a 103-90 win over the Charlotte Bobcats at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
Sitting 1.5 games behind the Pistons, Cleveland is in jeopardy of its second consecutive last-place finish in the Central Division. The Cavs can pull closer when they visit Detroit on Tuesday, but they'll likely have to do so without Kyrie Irving.
With the Cavs eliminated from playoff contention, head coach Byron Scott has taken a cautious approach with the rookie of the year candidate.
In a Sunday article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Scott said,
"We do not want to have a setback going into the summer where he has to rest for three or four weeks and not be able to participate in some of the things we want him to participate in. I might be overly cautious with this right now, but it's in his best interest."
The AP preview of Tuesday's game echoed that:
Scott said there's "a chance that Kyrie doesn't come back this season, but I think there is a better chance that he plays."
Whether he plays in Cleveland's final five games or not, Irving will likely claim the rookie of the year award. He leads all rookies in points per game -- his 18.8 points are an even 6.0 ahead of No. 2 Brandon Knight -- and is second in assists per game with 5.7, behind only Ricky Rubio.
The Cavs, 20-39, are 1.5 games behind Detroit, 22-38, in the Central Division. A loss Tuesday might ensure back-to-back last-place finishes in the Central for the Cavs.
Tuesday's game starts at 7:30 ET.
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