Celtics star Kyrie Irving dishes career-high 18 assists in win over Raptors
Al Horford contributed 24 points with seven rebounds, and Jason Tatum had 16 points with 10 rebounds on the game.
Irving came out in this game and set the tone partially because of his latest mantra. He’s been vocally upset about the performance and the apathy of the team’s younger players. He doesn’t believe that they had a winning mentality. His concerns have been voiced for over a month or so, and it’s reached the tipping point. There’s only so much he can do.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Keith Smith, Kyrie Irving stated:
“The young guys don’t know what it takes to be a championship level team. What it takes every day. And if they think it is hard now, what do they think it will be like when we’re trying to get to the Finals? There were no expectations last year. Everyone played free and easy. Everyone surpassed whatever they expected for themselves. This year? We all have high expectations. The players, the coaches, everyone. And that’s good, but we aren’t doing it yet.”
Irving desperately wants this team to meet those expectations. The roster has plenty of talent to go far into the playoffs. Basketball isn’t played on a spreadsheet, and Irving wants to win, regardless of anyone’s individual production.
The Celtics are now 26-18 and sit in the fifth seed of the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
They will face off next against the Memphis Grizzlies at home.