Irving, averaging 22.2 points and 6.1 assists in his third NBA season, missed his first game of the year on Thursday against Orlando. He was injured in the Cavs’ previous contest on New Year’s Eve Tuesday versus Indiana. His MRI was negative and he’s been listed as day-to-day.
Without Irving, the Cavs miraculously improved to 11-21 with a 87-81 overtime victory over the Magic. They somehow rallied from a nine-point deficit in the final minute of regulation.
Veteran Jarrett Jack is expected to continue to start at point guard in Irving’s absence. He tallied 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists on Thursday in a season-high 42 minutes, yet finished just 5-for-16 from the court.
Fortunately, the Nets also have had their share of struggles this season and have an identical record as the Cavs. They pulled off a last-second upset over Oklahoma City on Thursday.
Jacob Rosen is a long-time contributor to WaitingForNextYear. He's also a writer online at SportsAnalyticsBlog and Nylon Calculus . An Akron native, Jacob is a current MBA student at the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. You can follow him on Twitter @WFNYJacob or e-mail him at udjrosen(at)gmail(dot)com.