The All-Star point guard was announced out for the next 4-5 months after it was determined he will undergo a second surgery on his left knee. Those screws will be removed in a separate procedure on Saturday to ensure no infection remains in his knee. Irving has been out since March 11. When you look at how good he has been, there is a lot to get excited about.
Still, that's a rosy view - even if healthy, there's still plenty that can go wrong for Boston (or any team) in the coming years.
Gordon Hayward's injury cost the Celtics the first seed, now Irving's injury has cost them their season.
But perhaps no team looks more unsafe than the Philadelphia 76ers, who have won 12 straight games as they prepare for their first playoff appearance since 2012. It's going to be a loss that this team can't overcome. But that was without Wall. While the Washington Wizards - the Celtics likely first-round opponent - have struggled this season, they are a talented team that's made it out of the first round before. Losing Irving probably ruins the Celtics' chances of winning the National Basketball Association title.
Without Irving, Boston has little chance to defeat Cleveland, no matter where the games are played.
As it was, Irving was expected to miss the first round of the playoffs, with the hope he could rejoin the lineup if the Celts advanced.
Just Wednesday, NESN.com reported there were reasons to be optimistic about Irving eventually returning during the playoffs. He said that over and over. The absence of Irving and Hayward has allowed young players like Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to flourish. By then, perhaps the Warriors will have fallen off, or possibly have been broken apart by their own free agency questions, and maybe LeBron will have left Cleveland.
It would be one thing if the Celtics were only without Irving.
Either way, in the big picture, this fact that Kyrie is done for the year isn't the worst news.