Brad Stevens on how Kyrie Irving is handling being out for Cavs series
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Brad Stevens on how Kyrie Irving is handling being out for Cavs series

Kyrie Irving

With the start of a highly-anticipated Eastern Conference Finals rematch between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers just one day away, it is worth noting how significantly different both rosters look compared to last year’s matchup around this time.

Head coach Brad Stevens and his Celtics, who will be without the services of two of their stars in point guard Kyrie Irving and small forward Gordon Hayward due to season-ending injuries, continue to face all kinds of adversity throughout their 2017-18 campaign.

When coach Stevens was asked about how Irving was dealing with not being able to play against his former team, he said that his All-Star point guard isn’t dwelling on what he can’t control right now.

“He’s good at focusing on what he can control,” coach Stevens said on Saturday, via the Celtics’ official Twitter account. “He knows he can’t do anything about missing this series.”

Despite being the higher seed in the series against superstar forward LeBron James and the Cavs, the Celtics will be underdogs again. Stevens welcomes that challenge and is really looking forward to playing a hot Cavs team that is fresh off a dominant sweep of the top-seeded Toronto Raptors.

“They’re playing the best they’ve played all year,” Stevens said. “It’s a heck of a challenge. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.”

Regardless of the result of this series, there will still be a giant “what if” factor looming over Boston’s head because of the absence of both Irving and Hayward in this matchup with Cleveland.