This season has been somewhat of a struggle for the Boston Celtics, and with that being said the attention has turned to Kyrie Irving, the resident superstar in Bean Town. Irving, before the beginning of the season, was VERY sure that he was planning on, or at the very least had plans to, re-sign with a Celtics team that without him or Gordon Hayward took LeBron to game seven of the ECF just last season. With Irving and Hayward back and the continued development of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, it was nowhere but up for a team with great young players and a lot of assets to use in a potential trade. However as we ahead toward the final stretch of the regular season, the Celtics are 37-25, on a skid, and most importantly falling behind in a conference many expected them to dominate with LBJ’s move out west. If the playoffs were to start today, the C’s would be matched up against the surging 76er’s. Last postseason, Boston routed Philly, but that series might go a little differently this year.
The biggest concern with Kyrie is the sudden change in his long-term plans. Irving in the last few months alone has gone back on his feelings toward being in Boston long term, opting to wait until the season is complete to address the issue. Many have pointed to the fact that Irving and former teammate LeBron James have seemingly mended bridges and appear to be on good terms once again. This has given some people the notion that these two could potentially want to rejoin forces in LA and try to win a title again. This idea is popular for obvious reason: LeBron obviously needs a clear-cut second option on his team, and Kyrie is clearly unhappy and has mentally checked out on a team that hasn’t lived up to being a Warriors challenger come June. Couple the Irving situation with the fact that the Celtics seem to be playing selfish iso ball rather than a team that feeds off each other, and the overall morale seems so much different from just a year ago at this time.
The next month will make or break the Celtics. Seeding is very important, especially when the further the Celtics’s fall, the harder it’ll be to make up ground on anyone ahead of them. The Celtics have Brad Stevens, an excellent basketball mind, and great on-court talent. But until Kyrie Irving is gone, I truly don’t see any way this team can rebound and be a legit title contender. Irving needs to move on, and they can hit the reset button and try to swing in a bigger star.