Kerr on Celtics: "That looks like a team that is going to be at the top of the East for a long time"

Thursday night, the showdown looms. The hottest team in the NBA, that's right the Boston Celtics riding a 13 game winning-streak, are set to square off with the reigning, defending, NBA champions the Golden State Warriors at the TD Garden on National TV. Warriors coach Steve Kerr doled out some high praise for the C's after Dubs practice on Tuesday, noting that the team of the future may have already arrived. Via Chris Haynes of ESPN:

"It sure looks like Boston is the team of the future in the East, with the assets that they still have and their young talent and their coaching, and Kyrie [Irving] is amazing," Kerr said after practice Tuesday. "That looks like a team that is going to be at the top of the East for a long time to come. Whether their time is now or the future, that's to be determined, but they sure look like they want it to be right now."

Although the Celtics have played the Warriors tougher than just about anybody the past few seasons, winning their last two matchups at Golden State, they haven't had the same luck playing them in Boston. They've lost 4 consecutive contests at home vs the reigning champs.

Kyrie Irving spoke after last night's game that the Celtics are looking forward to the test on Thursday night:

"For us, it's another game for us to continuously get better and a test for us to really stay together and show our resilience and show what we're really made of," he said. "That's something a competitor wants to be a part of. I know we have some true competitors on this team, and obviously they're the reigning champs. For us, we're trying to accomplish something bigger than ourselves and win a championship. It's a long road ahead, but getting regular-season games like this is always fun."

Kerr also mentioned that he's been impressed with what Irving has done since joining the C's, and he understands why he left Cleveland despite his success there:

"I just think it's his team," Kerr said of Irving. "In Cleveland, he was such a dominant force, but it was always going to be LeBron's team. It just looks like Kyrie knows it's his group, and he's thriving with that group of players around him. It just seems like the next stage in his development. He knew what he was doing when he decided to leave. I admire Kyrie. Obviously, he's been a thorn in our side for years, and now he just happens to wear green."

Today the Celtics will practice for the first time in 23 days. I'm sure coach Brad wants to make sure his guys are ready for their shot at the champs tomorrow night. 8pm Thursday night cannot come quick enough.

Photo Credit -

Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401