Kyrie Irving: Celtics 'Almost at That Rock Bottom Point'

Marcus Newton
November 29, 2018

Billed as preseason favorites to win the East with both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward set to return to a lineup that reached the Eastern Conference Finals last season without them, this was supposed to be the season Brad Stevens and co. arrived at the promised land. At 10-10 after 20 games, their hopes of making a title run are certainly not gone but systems like 538's projected this to be a 54-win team coming into the season.

Kyrie Irving, who led the way for Boston with 26 points, said having Smart alongside him in the starting backcourt made a enormous difference on many different levels.

"It's not anything that I'm going to have a say-so in or anything else, so we don't bother about it", Gentry said. "That's the team we know", Boston guard Marcus Smart said. Trading Kyrie would guarantee that the Celtics receive something back for the point guard, and it could potentially be a star player, as teams are increasingly open to trading for a so-called "one-year rental".

The 25-year-old forward has two years and $52 million left on his Pelicans deal along with a $29 million player option for the 2020/21 National Basketball Association season so only a trade is possible for now.

There's plenty of time for the team to figure things out, but it will be interesting to see if any moves are made if this mediocrity continues. "We knew that we had the game in control just based upon our defensive schemes that we had out there". "We worry about winning games and putting everybody in the best situation to win games".

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Kyrie Irving has expressed in the past that he wants to lead his own team, and many believed that he would be the face of the Celtics when he signed in 2017. The Pelicans are now 10-11 and 12th in the Western Conference standings.

But Boston never let it get closer than that. The Celtics improved to 6-7 on the road. Jrue Holiday scored 13 points for the Pelicans but also finished with eight turnovers.

Boston will enjoy three days off before hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night. He had four rebounds, two points and an assist.

With NBA teams upping the ante every season by taking more and more shots from beyond the three-point arc, it's critical to be able to defend that area of the floor, but New Orleans has often struggled in '18-19.

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