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Kyrie Irving explains how playoff setting has helped Celtics get over rocky regular season

Kyrie Irving, Celtics

The Boston Celtics suffered through an identity crisis and constant mood swings all season long, but returning to the postseason, albeit not in the standing they expected, has allowed them to hit the proverbial reset button.

Kyrie Irving, who has led the way of this reshuffle that just landed them a sweep of the Indiana Pacers in the first round, explained how his team was able to transform a year of ups and downs into a strong start to the postseason:

“I just think from a preparation standpoint of preparing for one team has given us a benefit,” Irving told Jay King of The Athletic. “It’s given us just an identity of going out and executing a certain game plan. This was our first test against the Pacers. Now we have to carry that on to the next series. But it’s exciting to know that when the pressure is high or you’re asked to be challenged in a certain situation that you have guys that can respond to that and respond pretty well.

“It’s not always going to be perfect. It’s not always going to be the way you expect it to be individually. But as long as we stay together as a team I think that whatever result it is, it’s just more manageable when everyone’s together instead of just apart.”

The Celtics have been without their best defender in Marcus Smart, and he will likely be missed as well throughout the upcoming series against the East-leading Milwaukee Bucks. Yet showing this sort of cohesion and togetherness can only bode well for a battle-tested team that was only a game away from reaching the NBA Finals last season.