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Celtics confirm Irving, Hayward out if team reaches NBA Finals

Sportress of Blogitude logo Sportress of Blogitude 5/16/2018 Jason Rowan

Kyrie Irving holding his hand up © Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports The Boston Celtics on Wednesday, as has been the case as the undermanned team somehow soldiers on in the NBA playoffs, were asked if Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward would be available should the team advance to the NBA Finals. On this occasion, it was Celtics head coach Brad Stevens’ turn to state the obvious in an arguably needless exercise.

Suffice to say, Stevens’ response should not be considered hardly surprising in the least.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge previously had to address Hayward’s lack of availability for the postseason during the team’s Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Philadelphia 76ers. Again, it was made clear by Ainge that Hayward, lost for the season on opening night due to a dislocated ankle and fractured tibia, would not be playing until next season at some point.

On the Irving front, there has been no expectation that the point guard would make an appearance in the playoffs after being shut down in March. Two procedures followed on his troublesome left knee, which resulted in an expected recovery time of four to five months.

The Celtics, without Hayward and Irving, have performed brilliantly — and perhaps unexpectedly — this postseason in the two superstars’ absence and now are only two wins away from a berth in the NBA Finals after holding court at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers courtesy of convincing Game 1 and 2 wins at TD Garden.

That said, it’s foolish to believe a few more weeks in the postseason may somehow lead to either Hayward o Irving suiting up anytime soon.

Related slideshow: Best of the 2018 NBA playoffs (Provided by photo services)

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