The NBA 2014-2015 season Finals runner-up Cleveland Cavaliers is reportedly planning to place Kyrie Irving on the ice until January to allow him significant time to recover from his surgery in June over his fractured kneecap that he sustained in Game 1 of the last NBA Finals.
While the initial reaction to this news is negative to the Cavaliers fans, it could actually be a good news for the NBA team as Irving's absence could provide the golden opportunity for one of its franchise players, Kevin Love to step up and fill the void and start assisting LeBron James win another NBA championship, reported CBS Sports.
It has always been James and Irving providing the 1 - 2 punch for the Cavs teams, but with the upcoming NBA season, the Cavs 1 - 2 punch could very well be provided by James and Love. And Kevin would certainly love that.
The last season was painful for Love. He was a third option on the Cavaliers led by James and Irving and was sidelined the whole NBA finals because of his injury. Love was even reported to have contemplated of leaving the Cavs as a free agent.
But with the decision of Cleveland for the full rehabilitation of Irving before sending him on the court again, now is the time for Love for "find a way to fit in" with the team.
Love could take Irving's absence as an opportunity to step up his game once the 2015-2016 NBA season starts until the latter's return on the court. This will be a perfect time for Love to show that he could be valuable asset to send James again to the Finals for the sixth straight season.
Love should make himself comfortable playing James' wingman so Irving won't be missed.
Cavs Confirms Irving Rehabilitation Going Smoothly
A report by ESPN has confirmed that Irving's rehabilitation is going smoothly but the management team of the Cavaliers is not taking any chances and wants to see his full recovery before allowing his return to play for the team again in January next year.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer caught with Irving at his basketball camp in July and the point guard said he was not putting a timetable for his recovery. "I'm honestly not putting a date on anything. People are going to put a date regardless. I'm just continuing to be on the journey I've been on, and that's continuing to get better every single day and rehabbing my leg."
In a separate interview by ESPN in June, Irving described how he incurred his injury, "I think I drove right. I tried to stop on a dime. I've done it a thousand times, and I think Klay [Thompson] ... I tried to get out of it with my knee. I tried to stop myself, and all my force went on my knee, and I believe Klay hit it, and it hit it in the right spot at the right time and fractured my kneecap.
"I mean, I wouldn't do it any different -- like I said on my Instagram post or on Twitter, I don't have any regrets for the decision I made. I trust our organization, and I trust our training staff to the full extent."