Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving has an injured left knee that has caused him to miss time at various points during the playoffs, but he does not expect to miss time in the NBA Finals — especially Game 1.
“I’m just asked all the time whether it be the regular person walking around in Cleveland or someone here in San Francisco,” Irving told NBA.com. “I’m walking down the street and they ask me how my knee’s doing. I’m like, ‘I’m fine. Thank you. My knee is OK.’ It’s like, ‘Are you playing? Are you playing in Game 1?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah I’ll be playing.’
“It’s an adjustment but…I’m just going to go out there and will myself to play.”
Irving sprained his right foot in Game 2 of his team’s first-round series against the Boston Celtics and reaggravated that injury in the second round. He later developed tendinitis in his left knee.
He does not appear to be fully healthy now, but must find a comfort level in order to succeed on the court during the Finals.
“He’s going to have to be at a point where he’s mind-body-and-spirit-connected to what he is,” Cavaliers general manager David Griffin said. “If that’s what he thought he was on Friday, great. If it’s less than that, great. But he’s got to be comfortable with whatever it is he’s at.”