Don't be surprised if Kyrie Irving sits a few games to preserve his health as the regular season winds down. The Boston Celtics are fixing to make a run at obtaining home-court advantage in the NBA Playoffs, albeit having their roster at full strength for when it really counts. Head coach Brad Stevens cleared the air Wednesday on whether or not a few of his key players will see some rest games in the coming weeks.
Irving remains atop the list of those who may take a few nights off down the stretch.
“It’s a fine line because of where we are, positioning and everything else,” Stevens told Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. “But, at the same time, I think playing well and healthy, if you can be doing both going into the playoffs, that’s a pretty good thing.”
Irving, 26 missed last year's postseason due to the team discovering an infection in his left knee (h/t Kyle Hightower of The Associated Press). He's averaging 23.7 points, 7.1 assists, and 5.1 rebounds in his second season with the Celtics.
“The hardest thing to do sometimes is accept the uncontrollable things life throws at you,” he wrote in an Instagram post last April. “It's simply a test of your perseverance and will, to be present, even in the wake of what's going on.”
Following the Celtics' matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, they will have 10 remaining games on the schedule to try and overthrow the Indiana Pacers (or 76ers) for either the third or fourth seed.