Kyrie Irving curiously offers very few words on Brad Stevens, Marcus Smart’s criticisms on Celtics
The Boston Celtics locker room was a cauldron of emotions following the team’s blowout loss to the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday. Head coach Brad Stevens and guard Marcus Smart weighed in on what seemed to be ailing the team before questions were posed to Kyrie Irving to see where he stood.
After Stevens mentioned the team was attempting to take shortcuts defensively, Irving demurred, saying, “I don’t know. It’s up to Brad,” per Jay King of The Athletic. He then failed to expand on the point that Smart made, which mentioned that the Celtics were not playing together despite the fact that just 21 games remain in the regular season, saying, “I mean, that’s Marcus’ opinion. I respect it.”
Irving himself shot 3-for-10 from the field en route to a seven-point performance across 28 minutes. The outing marks just the third time this season that Irving has finished a game in single digits. He did add five assists and four rebounds, but the Celtics’ issues seem to be running deeper than a mid-week loss to a potential playoff opponent.
When combining Boston’s collection of talent with the fact that they were one game away from the NBA Finals last season, it’s unlikely that the buzz surrounding the club will die down anytime soon, barring either a winning stretch or some explanation to the team’s perceived division. They’ll take the floor Wednesday on the second leg of a back-to-back against the Portland Trail Blazers, looking to avoid their first four-game losing streak of the season.