If Kyrie Irving’s knee keeps bothering him, Cavs may shut him down

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Cleveland has to look at everything Kyrie Irving related as long term. There is nothing to play for this season. There was no rush to bring Irving back from the knee injury that cost him the first half of the season.

So when after Wednesday night’s Cavaliers win Irving said his knee was still bothering him but the only way it would get better is rest, it raised a few eyebrows.

Cavs coach Byron Scott was asked about it and it raised his eyebrows, too. He hadn’t heard this from Irving. Soctt said the Cavaliers are not going to take chances, reports Jason Lloyd at the Akron Beacon-Journal.

Kyrie Irving could be shut down again if his bothersome right knee is still giving him problems, coach Byron Scott said on Thursday…

Scott said Thursday he planned to speak with trainer Max Benton about Irving’s knee later in the afternoon and didn’t rule out the possibility of shutting him down “if he says it’s bothering him again to the point where I know it’s bothering him enough that he can’t perform the way I know he is capable of….”

“If there is any way of doing more damage by continuing to play, then I’ll find that out and we’ll go from there,” Scott said. “I want him to be able to go out there and play and be effective for us. I don’t want him to be out there playing at 50 percent.”

It really is about the long-term impacts of playing. If things are going to get worse, shut him down. If it’s a matter of just pain management, then Scott and Irving should talk.

But for the Cavaliers this is about protecting the franchise anchor, the guy they are rebuilding around. These March games are meaningless, both sides need to think about the next five years.