Coming into the season, the Boston Celtics were the consensus favorite to win the Eastern Conference. Some people even had the Celtics as the team to take down the Golden State Warriors and win the 2019 title.

However, when the season began, the Celtics quickly found out that the preseason expectations for them are not easy to exceed even with a deep and talented roster such as theirs. They are only 9-7 and have not looked the part of a legitimate contender.

After an ugly loss to the Utah Jazz, Celtics star Kyrie Irving shared his thoughts on what has plagued his team and what has to be done to turn it around, per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.

“Whatever word you want to use,” Irving said, when asked if he thought his two young teammates were pressing too much. “I just think that, for the amount of work that, like I said before, that guys put in, I think they have expectations for themselves, and I think that’s completely normal. Getting beaten down on [missing] shots or not being in the right spots … I think that we just have to find the happy balance between those two.

“Going on this early part of the regular season, teams are coming at us, so they’re expecting to make shots, they have a great rhythm; then we get hit in the mouth a few times, and we just gotta be able to respond.”

It’s very much possible that Irving is correct in saying the expectations have gotten to the Celtics’ younger group. Fortunately, they have a long season still ahead of them to improve and become the contenders they were expected to be.