Kyrie Irving wants Boston to be mature about handling leads
Following the game, Celtics superstar Kyrie Irving said that they have to be more mature in managing a sizable lead like that.
“To be mature about having the lead, you’ve got to keep the pressure on them and keep playing smart basketball on both ends of the floor,” Irving said per ESPN. “We didn’t do that.”
Irving knocked down a deep three-pointer to give the Celtics their biggest lead of the night with three minutes remaining in the third.
You’d think that it would be an easy stroll to the finish for the powerhouse Celtics against the young, inexperienced Hawks. You can make a case that that’s exactly what the Celtics did: take an easy stroll. They took their foot off the pedal, and the feisty Hawks took advantage and stormed back to tie the game with six minutes to go.
After Atlanta tied the game 112-all, Boston went on a 9-0 run in a two-and-a-half minute span. But the Hawks just didn’t go away that easily. They still cut the lead down to as low as 5 points with about a minute remaining, before the Celtics eventually closed the deal with defensive stops and made free-throws.
Irving led the way for the Celtics with 30 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists, while third-year guard Jaylen Brown contributed 23 points off the bench.
This isn’t a good look for Boston heading into the post-season. In fact, they haven’t really looked good all year long. They have struggled to be consistent night-in and night-out.
With just 12 games remaining and a little less than a month to go in the regular season, the Celtics still have a lot to iron out before going to war in the Eastern Conference playoffs.