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The Celtics guard is set to undergo a second surgery - his first was on March 24 to remove a tension wire from his knee - this time, to remove two screws that were inserted when he underwent surgery to fix a fractured kneecap during the 2015 NBA Finals and clear the infection surrounding the area.

"Celtics fans, I look forward to hearing how loud it gets in the TD Garden during the playoffs and experiencing how intense the environment gets", Irving said. This one does not, sending shivers through the league generally and the Celtics specifically.

On the heels of undergoing knee surgery recently, Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving received some bad news.

In fact, it makes escaping the first round - despite an impressive 53-25 record that locks the Celtics into the Eastern Conference's second seed - far from a sure thing.

But in the long term, Irving's latest injury also casts doubt on the project the Celtics have slowly, and expertly, been building in Boston. Additionally, Cleveland received Brooklyn's first rounder, which could be a top 3-5 pick. In exchange, the Cavs received Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic. One of the reasons they are at the top is because the Cavaliers handed them Kyrie Irving in the offseason. That possibility, for all intents and purposes, went out the window the second Gordon Hayward went down in the season opener.

Kyrie Irving's status being updated to "out-for-the-year" is an absolute bummer for the Boston Celtics.

LeBron has played in the last seven NBA Finals, and this news is a major boost to Cleveland's hopes this year. Irving can opt out of the final year of his contract in the summer of 2019.

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The last time the two teams met, without Irving or Wall, the game went to double overtime.

What they do have is tons of depth - nine players averaging double figures, including old man Dwyane Wade in his return - but their best player, guard Goran Dragic, isn't exactly Russell Westbrook.

If, however, Gibson is not too much of a liability on defense, he looks like the kind of offensive threat that could flourish under the ball movement of the Celtics, and could maybe even be an actual weapon in the playoffs. Initially, the Celtics appeared to have slightly gotten the better of the deal.

All three teams entered Thursday with 36 losses, making the fight for seventh a complicated affair. Those teams remain in a virtual tie with the Heat for sixth. That should have Miami (43-36), Milwaukee (42-36) and Washington (42-36), now sixth, seventh and eighth, scoreboard-watching and angling in what's left of their schedules to set up the preferred matchup.

The Boston Celtics defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-99 with the C's winning the game on a huge 3 point shot by Marcus Morris.

That is exactly the same number the Wizards could be looking at, as well. Irving missed 26 games in Durham due to a right foot injury. He was only expected to miss three to six weeks, but he will now not return to the court until next season. All of this could come down to that game - and whether Philadelphia has anything at stake.

There's intrigue, and the Celtics aren't giving up, but this weakened team is a facsimile of what they could be one day soon.