Kyrie Irving excels in masterful Christmas pageant performance for family and fans
Let's face it. Kyrie Irving is fast becoming the vocal-and-floor leader and face-of-the-franchise that we had hoped for. His family was there to watch his performance on the parquet stage against the rival 76'ers, as were millions of fans in front of their TV's, and he did not disappoint in this overtime thriller. Boston won in overtime, 121-114.
Kyrie Irving on his big Christmas day: “I told my teammates, I came in the locker room, I told them, ‘My family is here is to watch me play. I got 20-plus people from my family here and so I’m acting UP. Like, you guys have no idea, I’m so excited.’”— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) December 26, 2018
Kyrie has become as unstoppable on offense as any player in the League, and he tested the Philly defense right from the start. He had 16 points in the first quarter alone, and ended up with 40 points for the game on 52% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc, all while taking rebound honors with Jayson Tatum (10 boards each).
"The only guy to deliver more than Kyrie today...had a sleigh." - Grande— Celtics Radio Network (@celticsradio) December 26, 2018
40 for Kyrie Irving, C's lead 118-114 with 1:28 left in OT.
Make no mistake - Kyrie loves the Big Stage. The Garden parquet - Christmas Day - national television - versus the rival 76'ers - family members in attendance. Doesn't get any better than that. Or maybe it does.
MOST POINTS BY A CELTIC ON CHRISTMAS DAY— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) December 26, 2018
45 - Tommy Heinsohn, 1961
40 - KYRIE IRVING, 2018
35 - Bob Cousy, 1954
34 - Sam Jones, 1964
33 - JoJo White, 1974
32 - Bill Russell, 1958*
31 - Rajon Rondo, 2011
30 - JoJo White, 1971
* Yeah, throw in 33 rebounds, too
Irving his told us that he wanted his #11 raised to the Garden rafters so no one will ever wear it again. Well, in the above tweet he is in great company. If he keeps doing this he will be a lock to be up there.
But the biggest stage for Kyrie will be the NBA Finals, and that is where we will need his skills, leadership and absolute determination to win. The Celtics went a long way in the playoffs without him last year. He needs to be there at the end of this season. The stage is set.
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Photo via Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images