Despite some uncertainty with regard to knee and foot injuries, it appears that Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving will be on the floor when the Atlanta Hawks kick off the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday.
Kyrie Irving says he'll definitely play Game 1 in Atlanta on Wednesday.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 18, 2015
Irving was previously listed as "day-to-day" with his leg ailments, but it should come as no surprise to see that he will be on the floor for the opening tip of Game 1. David Blatt stated that Irving's status was "encouraging" on Monday, and there is no reason to suspect that will be limited in terms of playing time, barring a setback with his current injuries.
While LeBron James is the focal point for fans everywhere, the Hawks will have an interesting time dealing with Irving if he is anywhere approaching full strength. The duo of Jeff Teague and Dennis Schröder will be deployed as the first line of defense against the offensively gifted guard, but without the obvious "wild card" of deploying DeMarre Carroll (who will be guarding James) against him, Irving is a dangerous weapon for Cleveland's offense.
In the same breath, though, Atlanta could target Kyrie Irving defensively, as he is not known as a top-flight defender and the former Duke standout could be compromised on that end without full health in his legs.
Stay tuned for more updates.