According to ESPN's Chris Forsberg, after the injury to Gordon Hayward, a rival NBA executive told a Celtics staffer, "You've still got Brad, right? You'll be fine." The Exec was right. We still have Brad Stevens, and we are damn fortunate. In the same article, Forsberg refers to Brad's magic touch. I don't know if it's really magic. We'll have to ask our dribbling wizard, Kyrie Irving about that. But whatever the touch is, it's working. After losing the first two games, the C's have taken the last four.
Kyrie didn't just have his usual great game against the Heat last night. He scored nine of his 24 points in the final two minutes and three seconds of the game, but he also ended a personal history of losing in Miami.. According to AP's Tim Reynolds, Irving had never won a game against the Heat on the Miami court until last night:
Kyrie Irving has done a lot of things in Miami: relaxation, offseason workouts, even the filming of an ''Uncle Drew'' commercial.
Something he hadn't done there? Win.
He's now crossed that off the list as well.
Irving took over down the stretch, scoring nine of his 24 points in the final 2:03 and the Boston Celtics extended their winning streak to four games after holding on late to beat the Heat 96-90 on Saturday night.
It was Irving's eighth time playing at Miami, and the first time he walked off the Heat home floor a winner.
Irving, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford all had very good games last night, but it is Stevens' employment of his other troops that also needs attention. Aron Baynes started at center and produced six points, five rebounds, one asst., one steal and four blocks.Marcus Smart had his usual line of 16 points on 50% from the floor and two-of-six from the arc, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Daniel Theis, in only 15 minutes, had eight points, four rebounds and a steal.
Call it the magic touch, great coaching or brilliant employment of troops, but Brad Stevens' strategies are working. Marcus Morris should be back this week, and it will be interesting to see how he is used. The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan had written that the Boston fans were going to like him. That is good enough for me to be hopeful. Morris is the X Factor. We just don't know how he will work out. As one of Brad's troops, let's see what a little magic can do.