Duke in the NBA: Kyrie Irving Done For the Season

But the signature move of this entire retooling of Boston's roster was the stunning trade to acquire Irving last summer.

"It's simply a test of your perseverance and Will, to be present, even in the wake of what's going on".

"To ensure that no infection remains in the knee, the screws will be removed", the Celtics said. They were implanted after his patellar fracture during the 2015 NBA Finals. Following that recent procedure, pathology indicated the presence of a bacterial infection at the site of the original surgery.

With the announcement today that Irving would need a second operation on his knee, keeping him out of the playoffs entirely, things open up for the Celtics even more. And the player he was dealt for, Isaiah Thomas, is out for the season following hip surgery.

Shocking news broke Thursday afternoon that Irving's first season with the Celtics has come to an end. Trust Me. "The journey back to the top of Mt. Everest continues". For years, it's been the Cleveland Cavaliers and everyone else.

"We're going out there and try to win every game", rookie Lauri Markkanen said after his 24 points helped the Bulls to a win over Charlotte on Tuesday night. Without their leader on the floor when it matters most, matching last season's trip to the East Finals is going to be an incredibly hard undertaking. "I wish him the best". And depending on who's eating up Kyrie's minutes - more on that later - losing a player of his magnitude could cost a team anywhere between 50 and 80 points of CARM-Elo (or roughly the difference between the Warriors and the Heat). The Bulls are 2-6 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Boston, 1-6 ATS in the last 7 meetings and the under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.

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Irving underwent knee surgery on March 24, but an orthopedic specialist with Southcoast Health told NBC Sports Boston that Irving was showing good signs of improvement. Miami has played one more game - and has one more win - than its competitors, and should get another win Friday when it plays the tanking New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Now they will have to go through the playoffs without Kyrie Irving.

The loss of Irving is a devastating blow for Boston's hopes of competing for the Eastern Conference championship.

Irving's lack has made an opening for reserve guard Terry Rozier, who's enjoying his best basketball in his third season in the league. The rookie has increased his shot attempts from 9.9 per game before Irving went down to 13.6 since - an increase of almost 40 percent.

In Irving's absence, fellow Duke star Jayson Tatum has picked up the slack averaging 13.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

Others have stepped up as well.