Kyrie Irving's Game 7 absence explained after Mark Jackson criticism

Kyrie Irving has not been available for the Boston Celtics this postseason

GETTYKyrie Irving has not been available for the Boston Celtics this postseason

Hayward missed all but five minutes this season, his first with the Celtics, as a result of the injury.

The procedure was required after the burly Australian broke his nose in Game 6 of Boston's Eastern Conference Finals matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers. That means the victor between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics will move on to compete for an National Basketball Association title, while the other team goes home.

"I get a kick out of the fact that, everywhere I go, people don't think we need Kyrie or need Gordon Hayward", said Ainge. I'm really excited about their motivation and how hard they've already been in their rehab. "It was one of those games we lost that we should have won". If I were a betting man (I am) my money would be on year nine to be the breakthrough.

But the veteran executive, who has never shied away from making big decisions - just ask Isaiah Thomas - also dropped an ominous warning to the Texas native should negotiations go awry.

"I think that everybody is replaceable", Ainge said Thursday.

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Irving was ruled out for the season with knee surgery in April.

In an interview on ESPN's show "Get Up", Tatum didn't hesitate to pick Golden State, although he wouldn't say how many games they would win it in.

Ainge is correct: The Celtics are much, much better with Kyrie and Irving.

"It was a residual from the facial fracture he had earlier in the season", Wechsler said. The Celtics have reached the last two Eastern Conference finals, and in the lesser of the two conferences that will no longer be enough. But his absence on the Boston bench was noted when the Celtics played his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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