Kyrie Irving will not travel with the Cavs to Philadelphia

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When the Cleveland Cavaliers travel to Philadelphia to play the Sixers on Monday, they will be down two of their three superstars. In addition to LeBron James, who is out for two weeks with a knee injury, the team announced on Sunday that Kyrie Irving will not be making the trip.

According to David Blatt, Irving hurt his back in the second half of the Cavs’ Friday win over the Hornets. He played in Sunday’s home loss to the Mavericks, scoring 6 points in 25 minutes and deciding that he needs some time to heal.

In some ways, the timing of the injury is good news for the Cavs. This was already going to be a rough couple of weeks with James out, regardless of whether or not Irving played. If James came back and then Irving got hurt, that would just extend their bad luck. If taking a little time off now gets both James and Irving back close to 100 percent, that’s better for the Cavs in the long run.

Cleveland’s schedule doesn’t get much easier over the couple weeks. Between now and January 19, they play Houston at home and then road games against the Warriors, Suns, Clippers and Bulls. James should be back for the tail end of that stretch, barring a setback, but it’s not an ideal stretch of schedule for Cleveland.