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Brad Stevens says Kyrie Irving ‘lives for getting a chance in the playoffs’

Kyrie Irving, Brad Stevens, Celtics

Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving has proven to be a great regular season player over the course of his career. However, like most NBA players, Irving lives for the playoffs, and head coach Brad Stevens knows it.

“I just think (Kyrie) lives for getting a chance in the playoffs,” Brad Stevens told Jay King of The Athletic during Thursday morning’s practice session. “All the great ones do.”

Currently, the Celtics are leading the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, 2-0. Irving has been scoring the rock with efficiency, racking up 20 points in Game 1 and 37 in Game 2.

Irving says being able to have this kind of performance inside TD Garden after sitting out the playoffs last season wasn’t lost on him:

“It’s just been a long journey,” Kyrie Irving told ESPN after Game 2. “From having those two knee surgeries and watching the team last year and finally getting chance to lace them up for the Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs — it’s nothing like it.”

Irving is playing well this postseason, to be sure. Through the two games that Boston has played thus far, the former Duke Blue Devil has racked up averages of 28.5 points on 48.8 percent shooting from the field (53.3 percent from beyond the arc), 7.0 assists, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.0 block in 36.5 minutes per outing.

The Celtics and Pacers will meet for Game 3 of this series on Friday night. Tip-off inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse is set for 8:30 p.m. ET, with ABC having live broadcast coverage.