Celtics' Kyrie Irving to miss remainder of season, playoffs

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving left sit with teammates Jaylen Brown center and Marcus Smart during the first quarter of the team's NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Boston Tuesday

Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving will have to sit out the rest of the season and the playoffs to recover from knee surgery, the team said in a bombshell announcement on Thursday. This isn't the news anyone expected.

"It's not that easy going deep into the playoffs or having a real chance to win a championship", Barkley said.

Irving, who underwent knee surgery last month, will miss the playoffs, sources say.

Irving has not played since March 11 against Indiana.

The Celtics' All Star guard underwent a procedure last month to remove a tension wire in his knee that been placed there during surgery to fix a fractured patella in 2015.

Just Wednesday, NESN.com reported there were reasons to be optimistic about Irving eventually returning during the playoffs. But now he'll sit for the remainder of the season. Celtics fans, I look forward to hearing how loud it gets in the TD Garden during the playoffs and experiencing how intense the environment gets.

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Without Hayward, Boston likely wouldn't have had enough to beat the Warriors or Rockets.

The Celtics were hoping to get their best player back after the first round, but now they at least have some clarity.

Irving's shutdown all but shatters that hope. In the postseason, the lack of scoring punch without Irving may be too much to overcome.

After Thursday's news, the Celtics' odds at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook dropped from 20-1 to 80-1 to win the National Basketball Association title and from 9-2 to 20-1 to win the Eastern Conference.

What does this mean for Irving?

It hasn't been a secret it would eventually be necessary. Boston acquired him in an offseason trade with Cleveland. Meanwhile, the Celtics will have been grooming their youngsters, giving valuable minutes and responsibility to Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, who will be ready to rock for real when Irving and Hayward come back healthy.

After the surgery, GM Danny Ainge stated that the star's knee was structurally sound. That's just the first of many ripple effects of Irving's latest surgery - ripple effects that will last until next summer, and potentially far beyond that.

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