Kyrie Irving praises Celtics for ‘gritty’ win over Pacers, but says they still need to improve
Irving, who finished with a 37-point performance on 6-of-10 shooting from the perimeter, praised his teammates for what he called a “gritty” win. He also commended the Celtics for executing well and finding new ways to score. However, he pointed out that there are still things that they can improve as the postseason progresses.
Kyrie Irving brought up the Celtics’ poise down the stretch. Said guys executed well, weren’t dependent on taking midrange shots. “Everyone involved wasn’t just about putting points on the board … It was a gritty win.”
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) April 18, 2019
"That's what's gonna get you wins. It's about doing the little things … in the game. But there are definitely things we can improve on." – #Celtics Kyrie Irving.
— A. Sherrod Blakely (@ASherrodblakely) April 18, 2019
Despite a clear vintage Irving shooting parade, the Celtics have reason to believe they can turn it up a few notches. Irving noted before the playoffs started that he doesn’t “see anybody” beating them in a full series. So far, he has stayed true to his word as they head to Bankers Life Fieldhouse — home of the Pacers — unscathed.
The Celtics were mired in injuries all season, and they will certainly need to continue excelling with the “next man up” mentality that propelled them to the Eastern Conference Finals last year.
Defensive savant Marcus Smart remains sidelined for at least the first couple rounds with an oblique injury. However, a roster doused with a healthy Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford and Jayson Tatum isn’t a bad consolation.