Kyrie Irving’s injury was a tough pill to swallow for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but it was especially tough for LeBron James. Cleveland’s leader blames himself for the fractured knee Kyrie suffered in overtime, which he could have avoided if he’d hit his last-second shot in regulation.
It’s a bit over-dramatic for LeBron to blame himself, especially since Irving was already dealing with a knee injury coming into Game 1. Blaming himself seems to be a bit of misguided anger, informed by the all-too-human need to blame something that isn’t blind chance when faced with tragedy.
Now, the Cleveland Cavaliers are backed into a corner. Already underdogs heading into the NBA Finals, Cleveland finds themselves facing even longer odds with Irving out for the series. Still, despite the improbability, LeBron cautions those who would already crown the Golden State Warriors, as ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reports.
“Added LeBron James: ‘[I] understand that we were the underdog coming into the series, and with Kyrie being out, people are writing us off. So, I mean, that’s fine. That’s fine. I’m motivated to get our guys ready to go tomorrow [for Game 2], and we will be ready.'”
LeBron’s not wrong. Without Kyrie, many are writing off the Cavaliers, and for good reason. Simply put, they don’t have enough scoring to keep up with the Warriors
While a motivated LeBron James is a sight to behold and force to be reckoned with, it still probably won’t be enough to overcome the collective strength of the Golden State Warriors. LeBron is now the only Cavalier who can reliably create his own shot. J.R. Smith is capable of sizzling from deep, but that’s not something a coach wants to count on when the stakes are this high. Kyrie’s injury is heartbreak for the Cavaliers, and diminishes their already-dim title hopes into near nonexistence.
But it wasn’t LeBron’s fault.