The Boston Celtics are clicking, and it has everything to do with their star point guard, Kyrie Irving. The team has won five games in a row, a few of which that were big time Ws. First, they took down Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on the road. Then they won a close one in Miami because of Kyrie's fourth quarter heroics. And most recently, they beat the San Antonio Spurs in historic fashion.
Celtics snap 11-game losing streak vs. Spurs with 108-94 victory.
The season did not begin like we had expected it to. The team lost their first two games, beginning the season 0-2, with Gordon Hayward going down in the first quarter of the very first game. The Celtics that we had been anticipating all off-season had been smudged, and it was clear that the chemistry hadn't yet been developed.
To everyone's dismay, Kyrie Irving was seen as a big factor in the team's ragtag performances. He shot poorly in the first couple matchups, finishing with a field goal percentage of 36% over those two losses. Of course, his stat line was still impressive over the first few contests, but he just seemed out of place, particularly in the team's second game against the Bucks. Whenever he got the ball, he seemed to hinder the team's movement. He didn't move the rock enough, and whenever he was on the receiving end of a pass, he hesitated, and let the other team get their defense set. It was classic, isolation, fancy hands Kyrie, and the team struggled because of it. Even Tommy Heinsohn was groaning in disbelieve, imploring the offense to get moving!
Has Tommy Heinsohn already turned on Kyrie's iso-heavy game?
But the new man in town has figured it out, and because of it, the entire team has been playing well. In the win against the Bucks, Irving was everywhere, and made great play after great play. He and Al Horford were on the same wave length, and combined for 51 points on 69% shooting.
When we needed Kyrie in the fourth quarter, he was there. In the team's victory against the Miami Heat, he scored nine of his 24 points in the last two minutes of the game. And on the contrary, last night against the Spurs, he played so well in the first three quarters, that he wasn't even needed in the fourth. By halftime, Irving had already tallied 16 points on 7/10 shooting, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block. He finished the game +25, and allowed all of Celtics' Nation to let off a heavy sigh of relief.
And what about all of the rumors about his bad defense? Over the team's first seven matchups, Kyrie has registered 17 steals, which leads the league in the category.
The Kyrie Irving that we were anticipating has arrived, and my goodness, he is fun to watch. Lets hope that he can keep up this 'team-first' style of play that he's shown us these last few games, and lets hope that the Celtics can keep this winning streak up. Lets make it ten straight!
Oh, by the way, the Celtics have the best record in the NBA, and they're just getting started.
Jaylen Brown on Kyrie Irving: He's just starting to get comfortable on offense...which is scary.