The injury to Kyrie Irving [VIDEO] was a blow to the Boston Celtics and one that could very well have them getting a first-round exit from the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Only time will tell how much the injury will affect the Celtics in the playoffs, but we do know how much it has affected them so far. Something else that is important is what effect it will have on the Eastern Conference Playoffs and the NBA Playoffs as a whole. Most notably, how will it help the Cleveland Cavaliers, who made many trades before the deadline in order to make sure they would be successful in the playoffs. When answering these questions, we first have to look at how well the Boston Celtics have played in Kyrie's absence and how well the Cleveland Cavaliers have played after making trades that completely altered the face of their team.

Boston Celtics without Kyrie

When assessing how much of an impact the Celtics will see in the absence of Kyrie Irving, we have to first look at how well Boston played after Kyrie went down with his injury. Below are some facts about how the Celtics played without Kyrie.

  • Boston was 12-6 in 18 games after Irving was injured.
  • They were able to beat the Thunder, Trailblazers, and the Jazz (all playoff teams).
  • In a six-game winning streak, the Celtics were also missing other key players but were still able to win.
  • Terry Rozier has stepped up and has increased his playmaking 22 three-pointers in the six-game winning streak.

In short, the Celtics may have lost their best player, but they still have others who can take over and can compete even with other key players injured.

Cleveland Cavaliers after the trade deadline

Looking at the Cavaliers after the trade deadline [VIDEO] is key also. The Cavaliers clearly went all out at the trade deadline and made a lot of changes. But the question is: did all the changes help. Below are some stats to help decide.

  • The Cavaliers were 18-10 after the trade deadline.
  • The Cavaliers rank fifth in offense.
  • But they rank 28th in defense, only one spot higher than they were before the trade deadline.
  • LeBron James has been the highest scorer in 21 of the Cavaliers 28 games since the trade deadline.

So, looking at these stats, not much has changed since the trade deadline. LeBron James is still the top scorer, the defense is still awful, and the offense is still top five in scoring. But the troubling part of it is, only six teams have won it all when losing 30 games or more. The Cavaliers final record is 50-32. The Raptors and Celtics both have fewer than 30 losses.

What the future holds

When looking at all the numbers from the Celtics after the loss of Kyrie Irving, and how the Cavaliers have performed after the trade deadline, not much has changed with either team.

The Celtics have found other players who can step up in the absence of Kyrie Irving, and the Cavaliers still have one of the NBA's worst defenses, a top five offense, and Lebron James is still the top scorer on the team. In the end, the team who will win the Eastern Conference should be whichever one plays the best. Whether that is Boston or Cleveland, or any of the other six playoff teams, only time will tell.