Kyrie Irving dedicates Celtics’ win over Pacers to Marcus Smart
Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics pulled off a throwback gritty performance against the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of their first-round matchup, but it surely didn’t come without the C’s struggling to find a comfort zone without one of its key starters in Marcus Smart.
Irving, who led the way with 20 points in the 84-74 win on Sunday, noted just how much he missed his backcourt partner during his 34 minutes on the floor.
“I miss Smart,” Irving said in his post-game interview on TNT, according to Tom Westerholm of MassLive. “Oh man, I miss him so much, from the intangibles he brings to the game offensively and defensively. He just really shapes our team really well, and we all had to pick up for him tonight. This one’s for you, bro. 15 more to go.”
“We just got to come out with that attitude, same pressure. We didn’t shoot particularly well, but we did the little things to get this win.”
The Celtics pulled off a Smart-like outcome, surely one of the lowest-scoring games of this season altogether — and the lowest of this first round of the postseason.
Both teams didn’t have much going for them offensively, but Boston’s 3-point shooting and acumen at the line ultimately made the difference in a massive 10-point win.
The Celtics still have a lot to prove without a catalyst like Smart in the lineup, but they have taken the right first step by winning at home to start out the series.