Better off with him? Or without him? The Kyrie Irving poll:

Wit or witout?

  • C's are better With

  • C's are better Without


Results are only viewable after voting.

Lose Remerswaal

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Lots of opinions out there, so add yours!

Are the Celtics better as currently constructed with Kyrie Irving or without him?

No fair bringing the chances of adding other players to the mix if he is here vs not being on the team
 

Red Averages

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Clearly they are a more talented team with him. Most likely unarguable is their best odds of winning a title are if he re-signs and the Celtics trade for Davis.

On the other hand, most of the fun in rooting for this team has been when he isn't playing. He is clearly a strong personality that could have negative impacts on the locker room when the team is losing.

It's tough. They are likely better with him, but a growing part of me would prefer to move on. This is much easier if they can get equal value for him by trading him, but he ruined that possibility by confirming he was staying before the season.
 

Red Averages

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I should also add that his specific skillset is going to be higher in the playoffs given his talent is so high he can overcome specific matchups other teams can do against him. Whereas, Rozier cannot when teams focus in on him. As we get into the "Real Season" I think we'll convert all of the "withouts" into "with" because in the half court offense, his pick and roll game with Al is going to be critical.

That said, he is extremely frustrating to root for lately.
 

soxin6

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On paper, the team should be far better with him, but the Celtics become iso heavy when Kyrie is playing. Kyrie is a great player and you need great players to win a championship, but the young players don't want to just defer to Kyrie when they want to get minutes, shots, and to get paid. If the team was built on veterans, they would be much better with Kyrie, but it depends on young players that got a taste of what they could be without Kyrie in the playoffs last season and they don't seem to want to go back to playing a reduced role.

The team will either lose Kyrie in free agency and keep the young players or they will resign Kyrie and the young players will be traded away. As constructed, this team isn't going to win anything.
 

Jimbodandy

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I'm a pro-Kyrie guy, but I'm open to being convinced in another, plan B direction. Pointing to our "Kyrie rest" games as indicators of his value kinda misses the point though. They sit him against poor teams, generally. And the great Jaylen/Jayson/Terry games that result could very well be because they're going against shit opponents.
 

PedroKsBambino

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The NBA is about apex talent---you simply don't win big, or consistently, without it. And Kyrie is the best player they have, and with the exception of AD (or another currently unforeseen top-10ish acquisition soon) the best player they are likely to have. So, flaws and all, unless there is some ugly behind the scenes stuff I think the reality is they need to figure out how to make it work with him in order to have championship ambitions.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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It's funny. One could also say that this is the same team that won 16 in a row last year except for GH.

It's been said before but I will repeat it. The Cs last year got a lucky draw and went 1-7 on the road (probably should have been 0-8). Perhaps the biggest issue is that they weren't - and aren't - as good as they think they are (I understand I'm not the first to say that).
 

Big John

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Kyrie also has to figure out how it might work with him. The fact is, no one has figured it out to date-- not Stevens, not Kyrie, not anyone.
 

TripleOT

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I voted with him, but the jury is out as to whether he can as the lead dog get a team a title. His leadership ability as the man on the Celtics hasn't been good. If Kyrie leaves the Celtics without any compensation, they certainly will be worse off.
 

Kliq

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I think if we accept that Irving is playing to his potential and locked in, the Celtics are unquestionably better with him on the team. However, depending on how much you want to criticize his leadership skills, his weird personality, and his lack of consistency, you could make a pretty good argument that this Celtics team would be better off without him. To be honest; if Kyrie tore his ACL the first night of the season, what would the Celtics record be? Would it be THAT much worse than what it is right now, and would the team overall be happier?

Kyrie is an extremely talented offensive player, but I have always thought he was kind of overrated. I don't think he can be the best player on a championship team or even a team that makes the finals unless it is the perfect situation. I'd rather have Dame Lillard than Irving, even if Irving has more offensive skills and is a little bit more efficient, I don't think he has a true alpha mentality. He's made some big shots in his career but I also think he's soft. He has some games where he is locked-in, and other games where he seems completely checked out. The Celtics really needed Kyrie last night to come through and he went 3-10.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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I think if we accept that Irving is playing to his potential and locked in, the Celtics are unquestionably better with him on the team. However, depending on how much you want to criticize his leadership skills, his weird personality, and his lack of consistency, you could make a pretty good argument that this Celtics team would be better off without him. To be honest; if Kyrie tore his ACL the first night of the season, what would the Celtics record be? Would it be THAT much worse than what it is right now, and would the team overall be happier?

Kyrie is an extremely talented offensive player, but I have always thought he was kind of overrated. I don't think he can be the best player on a championship team or even a team that makes the finals unless it is the perfect situation. I'd rather have Dame Lillard than Irving, even if Irving has more offensive skills and is a little bit more efficient, I don't think he has a true alpha mentality. He's made some big shots in his career but I also think he's soft. He has some games where he is locked-in, and other games where he seems completely checked out. The Celtics really needed Kyrie last night to come through and he went 3-10.
I wouldn't be shocked if it were better simply because you'd keep the continuity of last year's playoff team going and Jaylen and Jayson would have been featured in the offense more without a ball-dominant PG. I'm not saying that team can win a championship because they probably can't without a top tier superstar like Kyrie but I wouldn't be surprised if a Kyrie-less Celtics were a regular season force. They need to figure out how to make it work with Kyrie if they want to get to the Finals but with each passing day that seems more and more like a pipe dream.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I vote with but it seems very clear that off-court stuff (much but not all Kyrie-related) is leaking out onto the court and affecting the team at a pretty crucial time.
 

Kliq

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I wouldn't be shocked if it were better simply because you'd keep the continuity of last year's playoff team going and Jaylen and Jayson would have been featured in the offense more without a ball-dominant PG. I'm not saying that team can win a championship because they probably can't without a top tier superstar like Kyrie but I wouldn't be surprised if a Kyrie-less Celtics were a regular season force. They need to figure out how to make it work with Kyrie if they want to get to the Finals but with each passing day that seems more and more like a pipe dream.
Kyrie isn't a top-tier superstar; a top-tier superstar is, imo, LeBron, Curry, Durant, Harden, Giannis. I think fans need to stop thinking about Kyrie is on the level of those guys. The team can win a championship with Kyrie as it's best player only if the players surrounding him are playing extremely well and the situation is perfect. If Kyrie isn't a great teammate, that limits the kind of perfection needed for this team to win.
 

Bad Penny

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Then it follows that you think it's more fun to root for this team when Rozier is playing?
I voted without. This season with TRIII as the primary option, the answer is no, it is not more fun to root for this team. When Kyrie walks, I think the front office will bundle some draft/player assets and bring in a legitimate starting point guard. I believe this roster, minus Morris/Kyrie/Rozier and plus an 85% Hayward and a veteran point can win the way this years team was supposed to.
 

tbb345

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Whenever I think about it logically and step away from the emotion of watching the team nightly, the obvious answer is with (which I voted for).

That being said, I do think Kyrie is the root cause of the problems that this team has been having. Unless you have just otherworldly talent like Golden State, I think it's incredibly hard to come together and play as a team when one of your two best players is one foot in and one foot out on the franchise and is talking about that publicly.

When you add in some of the other surrounding factors (like: said player claiming and acting like he is the leader of the team, finger pointing and blaming others through the media and just how grating it must be for his teammates to constantly answer questions about his FA and what his plan is) and its no wonder that the morale of this team is incredibly low.

But I did vote that the team is better with because I think the makeup of this team will be drastically different next year and that Kyrie is a prodigious talent. And as we all know, talent is king in the NBA...definitely more about the Jacks and Joes than the X's and O's
 

djbayko

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Here's the conundrum:
  • The Celtics are clearly a more talented team with Kyrie than without.
  • Kyrie wants to be the alpha on his own team.
  • BUT Kyrie is not a great leader of men (yet).
Just get through this season and pair AD with Kyrie to get some new veteran leadership in the clubhouse. Let Kyrie continue believing it's his team while taking some of the leadership responsibility off his shoulders.

Also, the NBA can be weird. I'm not counting on this happening, but if the Celtics get hot at just the right time and have a deep playoff run, that will help heal some wounds.
 

bankshot1

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I'm conflicted.

KI is the best player on the Celts and it seems he wants to prove it every night. I'm not sure his continual need for Alpha-male confirmation is best for the team..
 

lexrageorge

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I say "with" and don't feel it's all that close. But,....

If I were to name the top tier of stars in the NBA today, it would include LeBron, Steph, Giannis, Harden, Durant, Kawhi, Anthony Davis. There are guys like Gobert, Jokic, and Paul George who are having seasons that could put them "very close" to that tier. Embiid will probably be there in a couple of years.

Kyrie is in the next group. I would put him in the upper end of that next group. But, through no fault of his own, he's 6-3, tied with Steph Curry for being the smallest of the top 20 players by win shares this season. And while talented, Kyrie's shooting is not in the same tier as Steph's. To be a championship contender, the C's, or any other team for that matter, would likely need to pair Kyrie with a player from that first tier of 10 or so players.

Kyrie wears his emotions on his sleeve, and so I don't worry too much about what he says or his body language on the sidelines. I don't think he's disruptive to the team. And while there probably have been clashes with some of the younger players, I don't think they're the cause of the team's dysfunction.
 
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BigSoxFan

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To be a championship contender, the C's, or any other team for that matter, would likely need to pair Kyrie with a player from that first tier of 10 or so players.
Fortunately, there is one available this very moment. Ainge knows that Kyrie/AD will be a dynamic combo and I think he’s going to pull it off.
 

bosox79

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Kyrie isn't a top-tier superstar; a top-tier superstar is, imo, LeBron, Curry, Durant, Harden, Giannis. I think fans need to stop thinking about Kyrie is on the level of those guys. The team can win a championship with Kyrie as it's best player only if the players surrounding him are playing extremely well and the situation is perfect. If Kyrie isn't a great teammate, that limits the kind of perfection needed for this team to win.
He's not. And our 2nd and 3rd guys aren't that great either. Tatum obviously has potential but isn't there yet. The team has a lot of depth but it's not heavy. Who is our 2nd best player and is he even in the top 25? Last year, we thought we had 3 top 25 guys before Hayward went down.
 

chilidawg

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Kyrie isn't a top-tier superstar; a top-tier superstar is, imo, LeBron, Curry, Durant, Harden, Giannis. I think fans need to stop thinking about Kyrie is on the level of those guys. The team can win a championship with Kyrie as it's best player only if the players surrounding him are playing extremely well and the situation is perfect. If Kyrie isn't a great teammate, that limits the kind of perfection needed for this team to win.
Exactly. It's clear to me that whatever the talent bump is with Kyrie, they're just not functional with him out there. Good try by Ainge, and losing the assets to Cleveland to acquire him turns out to be not that big a deal, but I just don't think it's going to work with KI.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I don't know the answer to this question as its difficult to untangle Kyrie's flaws & limitations from those of the entire roster.

If Ainge can swing a deal for Davis or the Durant/Irving smoke is really about a CP3-move to Boston, Irving with the Celtics makes a great deal of sense. However, Irving's defensive limitations, coupled with his apparent struggles with leadership make him a questionable cornerstone. Also, at least for me, while I love watching him play on offense, the entire package makes him challenging to root for at times.

Finally, I will be shocked if he departs for either the Knicks with Durant or Los Angeles and doesn't run into some of the same issues he appears to be contending with in Boston. The league is, by design, filled with many young players who don't always know what they are doing and often do too much. LeBron knew this during his Cleveland 2.0 days which is why he consistently demanded that the roster be filled with veterans. And that didn't work most of the time.
 

Imbricus

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It's hard to deny that they're a better team with him. The problem seems to be that he doesn't make them as much better as someone that talented should. Whether that's because of chemistry, roster composition, or whatever, is not clear.
 

TripleOT

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I was at the Blazers game. His team is clearly not together, and Kyrie is clearly not leading. I'd trade him for Lilliard in a nanosecond, if that was only possible. Only three assists to four turnovers, zero FTs, and he didn't play well with others all game. Even the drudgery of his pick/pop game with Horford didn't click. His body language was atrocious. Brown's energy got the Cs back in the game, but all Brown (and Tatum) did the last 7;25 minutes of this game, after Kyrie re-entered it for the stretch run, was stand in the corner, shoulders slumped, while Kyrie did his own thing.

I hope the Cs can turn things around, but I have a feeling that Kyrie has checked out already. He seems to be the kind of guy who would rather just move on than fix things here.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I was at the Blazers game. His team is clearly not together, and Kyrie is clearly not leading. I'd trade him for Lilliard in a nanosecond, if that was only possible. Only three assists to four turnovers, zero FTs, and he didn't play well with others all game. Even the drudgery of his pick/pop game with Horford didn't click. His body language was atrocious. Brown's energy got the Cs back in the game, but all Brown (and Tatum) did the last 7;25 minutes of this game, after Kyrie re-entered it for the stretch run, was stand in the corner, shoulders slumped, while Kyrie did his own thing.

I hope the Cs can turn things around, but I have a feeling that Kyrie has checked out already. He seems to be the kind of guy who would rather just move on than fix things here.
If KI went 13-28 (including 3-10 from 3P) with only 4 assists (granted 7 rebounds and 1 steal with 1 TO) while at the same time being abused in the post when the other team went at him people wouldn't want him on the team either.

KI was 14-24 (3-5 from 3P), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and one block with 4 TO last night. KI was not the problem. Al and MM going 9-26 was a bigger problem.

The Cs are 37-25. When BOS shoots from 3P:
  • 25% or better, they are 37-21 (.638) (which means they are 0-4 when they are below).
  • 30% or better, they are 34-16 (.680) (which means they are 3-9 when they are below).
  • 35% or better, they are 25-10 (.714) (which means they are 12-15 when they are below).
  • 40% or better, they are 18-2 (.900) (which means they are 19-23 when they are below).
  • 45% or better, they are 7-0 (which means they are 30-25 when they are below).
Just for fun, the league is
  • 84-13 (.865) when a team shoots 45+% from 3P land
  • 388-166 (.700) when a team shoots 40+% from 3P land
  • 601-330 (.645) when a team shoots 35+% from 3P land
  • 791-569 (.582) when a team shoots 30+% from 3P land
  • 888-780 (.529) when a team shoots 30+% from 3P land
 

TripleOT

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If KI went 13-28 (including 3-10 from 3P) with only 4 assists (granted 7 rebounds and 1 steal with 1 TO) while at the same time being abused in the post when the other team went at him people wouldn't want him on the team either.

KI was 14-24 (3-5 from 3P), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and one block with 4 TO last night. KI was not the problem. Al and MM going 9-26 was a bigger problem.

The Cs are 37-25. When BOS shoots from 3P:
  • 25% or better, they are 37-21 (.638) (which means they are 0-4 when they are below).
  • 30% or better, they are 34-16 (.680) (which means they are 3-9 when they are below).
  • 35% or better, they are 25-10 (.714) (which means they are 12-15 when they are below).
  • 40% or better, they are 18-2 (.900) (which means they are 19-23 when they are below).
  • 45% or better, they are 7-0 (which means they are 30-25 when they are below).
Just for fun, the league is
  • 84-13 (.865) when a team shoots 45+% from 3P land
  • 388-166 (.700) when a team shoots 40+% from 3P land
  • 601-330 (.645) when a team shoots 35+% from 3P land
  • 791-569 (.582) when a team shoots 30+% from 3P land
  • 888-780 (.529) when a team shoots 30+% from 3P land
I was watching about 100 feet from the court. It was apparent to me that there was a problem that game. Whether it was Kyrie who causes it or not is debatable, but he's supposed to be the team's leader.. The other team had a top PG, and he had no problem leading his teammates, who all seemed to be on the same page with him. I was familiar with Kyrie's stat line when I posted. He did not get his teammates as involved as they needed to be, especially in the last 7 1/2 minutes, when he re-entered the game down four points. Kyrie can score 31 points every night. The Celtics need him to lead, get the offense humming, play at least a little defense, and score, especially in crunch time.

If we used __________ wasn't the problem, because he was 14-24, Andrew Wiggins would be a basketball god. Boston is a lifeless basketball team, and Kyrie is the main reason. He is their best player, and is supposed to be their franchise guy, but he's sowed discord publicly. A 31 point Kyrie who does little else, while freezing out and alienating many of his teammates, is a problem to me.

I voted to keep him, but am heading into "fuck this guy, let him be some other team's problem" territory. I have little faith that he has the leadership tools to right the Celtics' ship, and I have some doubt that he really wants to. I was fine with investing almost $40 million a season in this guy, which was once to me a no brainer, but now I'm questioning it.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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I voted better without. Lots of good points made in here for both sides of the vote. Personally (and emotionally) I just can't separate in my mind how different the team looked on their playoff run and this team's listless, befuddling and aggravating play style. The difference is too stark.

Kyrie honestly seems like the type of guy that would quietly have hated how much the team succeeded without him and how beloved that team was. A month ago I would have been upset at the idea of him walking, but now I'm fine with it. I know people hate on Morris for good reasons, but my guess is that the locker room cancer pie chart is 99% Kyrie and 1% other. Morris seems like a grouch, but the non-KI C's had no problem balling out with him last year with him coming off the bench. Morris at the very least seems liked by his teammates (strictly based off anecdotal, on court observations) whereas Kyrie looks like a miserable guy to play with and be around. He seems like the kind of guy that would walk into a locker room and the proverbial record would scratch and the whole vibe of the room changes.
 

Red Averages

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If KI went 13-28 (including 3-10 from 3P) with only 4 assists (granted 7 rebounds and 1 steal with 1 TO) while at the same time being abused in the post when the other team went at him people wouldn't want him on the team either.

KI was 14-24 (3-5 from 3P), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and one block with 4 TO last night. KI was not the problem. Al and MM going 9-26 was a bigger problem.

The Cs are 37-25. When BOS shoots from 3P:
  • 25% or better, they are 37-21 (.638) (which means they are 0-4 when they are below).
  • 30% or better, they are 34-16 (.680) (which means they are 3-9 when they are below).
  • 35% or better, they are 25-10 (.714) (which means they are 12-15 when they are below).
  • 40% or better, they are 18-2 (.900) (which means they are 19-23 when they are below).
  • 45% or better, they are 7-0 (which means they are 30-25 when they are below).
Just for fun, the league is
  • 84-13 (.865) when a team shoots 45+% from 3P land
  • 388-166 (.700) when a team shoots 40+% from 3P land
  • 601-330 (.645) when a team shoots 35+% from 3P land
  • 791-569 (.582) when a team shoots 30+% from 3P land
  • 888-780 (.529) when a team shoots 30+% from 3P land
Thanks for pulling in the numbers. Really interesting to see how stark the difference is above/below 35%.
 

tbb345

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I voted better without. Lots of good points made in here for both sides of the vote. Personally (and emotionally) I just can't separate in my mind how different the team looked on their playoff run and this team's listless, befuddling and aggravating play style. The difference is too stark.

Kyrie honestly seems like the type of guy that would quietly have hated how much the team succeeded without him and how beloved that team was. A month ago I would have been upset at the idea of him walking, but now I'm fine with it. I know people hate on Morris for good reasons, but my guess is that the locker room cancer pie chart is 99% Kyrie and 1% other. Morris seems like a grouch, but the non-KI C's had no problem balling out with him last year with him coming off the bench. Morris at the very least seems liked by his teammates (strictly based off anecdotal, on court observations) whereas Kyrie looks like a miserable guy to play with and be around. He seems like the kind of guy that would walk into a locker room and the proverbial record would scratch and the whole vibe of the room changes.
This is why it's very difficult to untangle the problems with this team. Both Kyrie and Mook seem well liked by their teammates off the court. In the broadcast last night Doris Burke talked about how either Brad Stevens or Kyrie said to them "This is an extremely well intentioned group and everyone gets along off the floor, they are just trying to figure out how to maximize each other's strengths on court"
 

EL Jeffe

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To me, I don't think there's any question that they're better off with him. I think the more pertinent question is if they're better off signing him to a 5/$188m contract (that was the figure the last I saw) or not. They can't build a Super Team without signing Kyrie, but signing Kyrie doesn't guarantee a Super Team. There's a real chance that could turn into a John Wall type contract if they can't attract the other needed pieces.
 
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DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Its really difficult to assess team chemistry from outside a locker room/clubhouse. I think most people have coworkers who can be difficult in spots but it doesn't always mean that they are disliked.

Also, comparing Irving to Lillard is not fair. Lillard is widely regarded as a great teammate and leader. However that is just his personality coupled with the fact that he had the time and a supportive environment to grow into his role.

Irving went from being a rebuilding piece on a hollowed out franchise to a second banana to a demanding teammate almost overnight. Then he gets traded to a team that had already begun to rebuild prior to his arrival so assuming leadership was always going to be a challenge.

Given more time in Boston with a retooled roster (better number two scoring option and more defense) I suspect that many "KyriExit" types might change their minds.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Here's the conundrum:
  • The Celtics are clearly a more talented team with Kyrie than without.
  • Kyrie wants to be the alpha on his own team.
  • BUT Kyrie is not a great leader of men (yet).
Just get through this season and pair AD with Kyrie to get some new veteran leadership in the clubhouse. Let Kyrie continue believing it's his team while taking some of the leadership responsibility off his shoulders.

Also, the NBA can be weird. I'm not counting on this happening, but if the Celtics get hot at just the right time and have a deep playoff run, that will help heal some wounds.
You pretty much hit nail on head here. Replacing young players and contract-year players with veterans who recognize they are here to help win games and a championship instead of looking for numbers to get paid in FA will go a long way toward developing a strong supporting cast from a clear 1/2 in Kyrie and AD. Sure, Tatum and Jaylen and Rozier and Morris are more "talented" players but true veteran leadership glue guys such as DeMarre Carroll or Robin Lopez or a Millsap would be FAR better fits as complementary pieces once you have a clear 1/2 in place.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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This is why it's very difficult to untangle the problems with this team. Both Kyrie and Mook seem well liked by their teammates off the court. In the broadcast last night Doris Burke talked about how either Brad Stevens or Kyrie said to them "This is an extremely well intentioned group and everyone gets along off the floor, they are just trying to figure out how to maximize each other's strengths on court"
For sure. I'm just spitballing/guessing/venting. Hopefully it's more about on court chemistry than any sort of supposed "cancer" in the locker room.
 

BigSoxFan

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You pretty much hit nail on head here. Replacing young players and contract-year players with veterans who recognize they are here to help win games and a championship instead of looking for numbers to get paid in FA will go a long way toward developing a strong supporting cast from a clear 1/2 in Kyrie and AD. Sure, Tatum and Jaylen and Rozier and Morris are more "talented" players but true veteran leadership glue guys such as DeMarre Carroll or Robin Lopez or a Millsap would be FAR better fits as complementary pieces once you have a clear 1/2 in place.
I think you raise an interesting question on Jaylen. If the Kyrie/AD thing happens (and I still believe it will), Tatum is likely going the other way but it's doubtful that Jaylen would be needed to be added as well given the pick situation. So, what does Danny do with Jaylen given that 1) there may be chemistry issues with him and Kyrie and 2) we're entering Rozier land with Jaylen next year?

Do we trade Jaylen this summer if the Kyrie/AD thing happens and, if yes, what is an acceptable return? Atlanta may be a potential option given they have a need at wing and should have an extra lottery pick. A Collins/Brown/Young/2019 lotto core would make things start to get interesting for Atlanta. That Doncic trade looks a bit better if the return is Trae Young/Jaylen.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think you raise an interesting question on Jaylen. If the Kyrie/AD thing happens (and I still believe it will), Tatum is likely going the other way but it's doubtful that Jaylen would be needed to be added as well given the pick situation. So, what does Danny do with Jaylen given that 1) there may be chemistry issues with him and Kyrie and 2) we're entering Rozier land with Jaylen next year?

Do we trade Jaylen this summer if the Kyrie/AD thing happens and, if yes, what is an acceptable return? Atlanta may be a potential option given they have a need at wing and should have an extra lottery pick. A Collins/Brown/Young/2019 lotto core would make things start to get interesting for Atlanta. That Doncic trade looks a bit better if the return is Trae Young/Jaylen.
If we remove Tatum, Rozier, and Morris from the equation I feel Jaylen would be an ideal second unit scorer leading that unit and could be extremely valuable in that role as he's shown this year. He's a guy who does not play well without the ball......he's like Morris a lot in this regard as his greatest skill is in gaining angles in creating his own shot off the dribble. I could also see him moved in the right deal however he provides a ton of on-court value once other pieces are cleared out while on a rookie deal. Much like Rozier was "supposed" to provide this year......even if we lose Jaylen for nothing down the road he brings a ton of value in on-court value over the next two years so we wouldn't be "losing him for nothing" as he'd be contributing to a Championship run.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I was watching about 100 feet from the court. It was apparent to me that there was a problem that game. Whether it was Kyrie who causes it or not is debatable, but he's supposed to be the team's leader.. The other team had a top PG, and he had no problem leading his teammates, who all seemed to be on the same page with him. I was familiar with Kyrie's stat line when I posted. He did not get his teammates as involved as they needed to be, especially in the last 7 1/2 minutes, when he re-entered the game down four points. Kyrie can score 31 points every night. The Celtics need him to lead, get the offense humming, play at least a little defense, and score, especially in crunch time.

If we used __________ wasn't the problem, because he was 14-24, Andrew Wiggins would be a basketball god. Boston is a lifeless basketball team, and Kyrie is the main reason. He is their best player, and is supposed to be their franchise guy, but he's sowed discord publicly. A 31 point Kyrie who does little else, while freezing out and alienating many of his teammates, is a problem to me.

I voted to keep him, but am heading into "fuck this guy, let him be some other team's problem" territory. I have little faith that he has the leadership tools to right the Celtics' ship, and I have some doubt that he really wants to. I was fine with investing almost $40 million a season in this guy, which was once to me a no brainer, but now I'm questioning it.
(1) Are you referring to the Andrew Wiggins who is a lifetime .331 3P shooter and has a career TS% of .520, including a .482 this year? Kyrie's TS% this year is .599 and was .610 last year. Kyrie has a career high in assists, rebounds, and DBPM. If Andrew Wiggins has a .600 TS% and a DBPM in the positive, he's definitely an All-Star and Thibs would probably still be coaching in MIN.

(2) I think I finally get why this thread exists. I think we all agree that last year's team was one of the most enjoyable teams any sports fan will ever get to watch. I don't have time to re-watch games but I have re-watched the HOU game from last year. And the run to the Eastern Conference finals was unexpected and somewhat magical. But let me ask a question:

How far does last year's team go in this year's new, improved EC?

Yes, we beat MIL by keeping serve at home. In Game 7, MIL's 7 main players included Thon Maker, Jabari Parker, and Jason Terry. #8 was Dellanova. Does anyone think last year's team would even be able to get a Game 7 against this year's MIL team?

Last year's team went 2-2 vs TOR but the games in TOR weren't competitive (91-111; 78-96 - yes we scored 78 at TOR on April 4). Does anyone think we would have beat TOR in a seven game series last year? And I think we all know this year's TOR team is way better than last year's team.

Last year's team went 2-2 vs IND last year but the two wins were in November and December (and included TR's steal) and the two losses (in which BOS scored 91 and 97 points respectively) were in February and March. I think we all agreed that a seven game series vs IND would have been a toss-up at best. I think IND was better this year than last year before Olidipo got hurt.

And finally PHI. I think PHI this year is clearly better than last year but apparently PHI is a good matchup for BOS. And someone might say that the Cs just beat PHI without KI. Yes, but that required GH to have the game of his Celtics career. Would last year's Celtics stand a chance against this year's PHI team? I personally don't think so.

Deadspin has an article entitled, "Maybe Brad Stevens Isn't Quite Up To This", which asks what has been sometimes posted on this board: since Brad seems to have the most success with limited upside guys who know their role, maybe his system won't work with high upside guys who don't want to be constrained?

While that's a fair question to ask (I guess), I'd put it this way. Brad had a lot of success last year with high-upside guys by putting them into situations where they could use their strengths. Maybe the issue is that these high-upside guys see the success that they have and think they are better than they are and start getting out of their roles? JT thinks he'll be an All-Star and that's probably right but he's not there yet. JB thinks he can be Jimmy Butler and that may be right but he's certainly not there yet. Marcus Smart thinks he's an all-around difference maker and he's probably right on the defensive side but not there on the offensive side yet (and maybe never will be). MM thinks he's a starter on a championship team. TRoz probably thinks he's going to be an All-Star too.

And yes, Kyrie isn't immune to this - I'm sure he thinks he's as good as the top 5 players in the league but I think we all agree he isn't yet.

This team definitely needs KI to be the best version of itself. Granted there may be issues in the locker room but maybe the biggest issue could be that everyone - including the players - were overly optimistic about this team from the get go.
 

BigSoxFan

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If we remove Tatum, Rozier, and Morris from the equation I feel Jaylen would be an ideal second unit scorer leading that unit and could be extremely valuable in that role as he's shown this year. He's a guy who does not play well without the ball......he's like Morris a lot in this regard as his greatest skill is in gaining angles in creating his own shot off the dribble. I could also see him moved in the right deal however he provides a ton of on-court value once other pieces are cleared out while on a rookie deal. Much like Rozier was "supposed" to provide this year......even if we lose Jaylen for nothing down the road he brings a ton of value in on-court value over the next two years so we wouldn't be "losing him for nothing" as he'd be contributing to a Championship run.
Agree on the fit of Jaylen but I have concerns about his willingness to play that bench role for another season.
 

nighthob

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I think you raise an interesting question on Jaylen. If the Kyrie/AD thing happens (and I still believe it will), Tatum is likely going the other way but it's doubtful that Jaylen would be needed to be added as well given the pick situation. So, what does Danny do with Jaylen given that 1) there may be chemistry issues with him and Kyrie and 2) we're entering Rozier land with Jaylen next year?

Do we trade Jaylen this summer if the Kyrie/AD thing happens and, if yes, what is an acceptable return? Atlanta may be a potential option given they have a need at wing and should have an extra lottery pick. A Collins/Brown/Young/2019 lotto core would make things start to get interesting for Atlanta. That Doncic trade looks a bit better if the return is Trae Young/Jaylen.
At this point I want no part of the Team LeBron Circus that will result from an AD trade, however if they do Atlanta is probably a good landing spot for Brown. The price would be higher than a late lottery pick in a roleplayer draft, though.

But if they could get the Dallas pick and a future Atlanta pick with limited protections for Brown it’s worth it (especially as there’s nigh on a 100% chance that Davis is a rental and they’ll need the lottery pick to rebuild in the aftermath).

Agree on the fit of Jaylen but I have concerns about his willingness to play that bench role for another season.
It’s also plain not doable as he’s going to get maxed in free agency when the day comes. And there’s no sense in letting Brown cover the Terry Rozier Experience’s 2019 Shitshow.
 

TripleOT

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(1) Are you referring to the Andrew Wiggins who is a lifetime .331 3P shooter and has a career TS% of .520, including a .482 this year? Kyrie's TS% this year is .599 and was .610 last year. Kyrie has a career high in assists, rebounds, and DBPM. If Andrew Wiggins has a .600 TS% and a DBPM in the positive, he's definitely an All-Star and Thibs would probably still be coaching in MIN.
I wasn't referring to any of that. I know that Kyrie has been a more efficient player over his career than Wiggins. I was referring to your assertion that Kyrie wasn't a problem in the Blazers game because of his stat line. Because the only really positive thing in his stat line was the scoring, I assumed that was your evidence that Kyrie wasn't a problem in that game. That's why I said "If we used __________ wasn't the problem, because he was 14-24, Andrew Wiggins would be a basketball god." The reason I picked Wiggins as an example is I was at a game this year when he scored 31 points on only 18 shots against the Celtics in a loss, and he was absolutely a problem for his team that game, because he did little else and didn't play off his teammates at all. Kyrie's performance last night reminded me of Wiggins that night, and that's not a good thing.
 

TripleOT

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Deadspin has an article entitled, "Maybe Brad Stevens Isn't Quite Up To This", which asks what has been sometimes posted on this board: since Brad seems to have the most success with limited upside guys who know their role, maybe his system won't work with high upside guys who don't want to be constrained?

.
That article made a lot of good points. I don't know if Stevens can properly coach a team without a lot of little-engine-that-could scrappy role players. It's apparent that many (most? almost all?) of the rotation on this squad will not fully buy into the role Stevens has created for them.

It also makes a good point about 2019 KI being not much different than 2017 IT - a good scorer and decent assist man that has to dominate the ball. Boston could be an offensive juggernaut without Kyrie dominating the ball. If he chose to be a facilitator who just took over in the last six minutes of the game, and was truly committed to setting up his teammates, this team would be beastly. Kyrie's lousy leadership, and Stevens' weak coaching, has turned all their promise into a joyless, underachieving mess.

There's enough talent on this roster to win the East. Stevens shouldn't be looking to constrain his players. he should be playing to each of their strengths. This team needs to be coached every possession on offense until it gets on track. if someone isn't doing what he needs to do, he should be pulled, whether it's KI or a back of the rotation guy. Standing around with a bemused look in his face isn't what Stevens needs to be doing right now.
 

HomeRunBaker

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There's enough talent on this roster to win the East. Stevens shouldn't be looking to constrain his players. he should be playing to each of their strengths. This team needs to be coached every possession on offense until it gets on track. if someone isn't doing what he needs to do, he should be pulled, whether it's KI or a back of the rotation guy. Standing around with a bemused look in his face isn't what Stevens needs to be doing right now.
How is this even possible when you have 6 players whose strength is shot creation with the ball? You are asking/blaming a coach for not changing the fundamental way these players play the game then in the same sentence say he should be playing to their strengths. You can't have it both ways......and you can't put the ball in Kyrie, MaMo, Tatum, Jaylen, Hayward, and Rozier's hands as that is the strengths of each of these players. Hence, redundancy of the roster which is the problem not the coach.
 

tbrown_01923

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How is this even possible when you have 6 players whose strength is shot creation with the ball? You are asking/blaming a coach for not changing the fundamental way these players play the game then in the same sentence say he should be playing to their strengths. You can't have it both ways......and you can't put the ball in Kyrie, MaMo, Tatum, Jaylen, Hayward, and Rozier's hands as that is the strengths of each of these players. Hence, redundancy of the roster which is the problem not the coach.
okay I am here now too. I thought this team would find a way, and they have at various moments in the season. However without any real home court advantage it is going to be next to impossible for them. I think *now* without terry and mm from the start this team is probably in a better place. And that is having like terry last year and MM this year.
 

TripleOT

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How is this even possible when you have 6 players whose strength is shot creation with the ball? You are asking/blaming a coach for not changing the fundamental way these players play the game then in the same sentence say he should be playing to their strengths. You can't have it both ways......and you can't put the ball in Kyrie, MaMo, Tatum, Jaylen, Hayward, and Rozier's hands as that is the strengths of each of these players. Hence, redundancy of the roster which is the problem not the coach.
Agreed on redundancy on the roster, especially with Tatum and Brown squeezing out a recovering Hayward. Not buying it on MaMo. He shouldn't be getting the third most shots on this team. Mook is a role player and should only be shooting wide open threes off ball movement and posting up smaller covers. Rozier is a head scratcher. His splits as a reserve are garbage, and his splits as a starter, playing against better comp, are good (44/41/94% shooting, 4.5:1 ast/to). Last season, he shot about the same and scored at around the same pace as a starter and reserve.

How do other teams do it? How did the Celtics do it last season for the first 60 games, before Kyrie got hurt? Coach the players in your rotation to get the most out of them. We've seen this team mesh well in spots this season, so it's not impossible. I'll buy the premise that there is not enough leadership and character on this team to get these players to fit into roles and play well together, but I won't buy that it's not possible for them to do so, because I've seen them do it in stretches.
 

lexrageorge

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I think the idea that the Celtics have the most talent in the East should be put to rest. When going against either Toronto or Milwaukee, Kyrie is not the best player on the floor. Probably could say the same about Philly, but Embiid is still just in his 3rd season. All 3 opponents have gotten markedly better since last season. And while we would all love for the Celtics to recapture the energy of those first 50-60 games from last season (when Kyrie was healthy and clearly the best player on the floor for them nearly every night), I do believe the Celtics run may have been a bit of a mirage.
 

reggiecleveland

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I voted, reluctantly without. My reason is his knee,more than his character. I don't like the idea of a long term mega deal to a guy with a wonky knee. It's not like he can DH that last two years of this deal. The player Kyrie is who Danny wanted and traded for.

This is probably an over simplification, and since I am back coacging full time I have watched few games this year but:

1. I am sure Danny and Brad had a plan for healthy Hayward and Kyrie that would have worked great. I don't think it was just "Gordo's my guy" plus "Kyrie is the best I can get with all these assets, I guess" Not to bash Hayward but his insertion in the lineup is the biggest change from last year.

2.The urgency last year without Hayward and playoffs without Kyrie created a siege mentality, and "nobody believes in us" scenario where guys will pull together. The playoff run especially was a short term burst of unselfish energy driven basketball. It is impossible to have that work an entire year. A team with nothing to lose is dangerous.Do any of you think that was the real Rozier?

3. IMHO opinion Hayward needed to be a star for this year to work. Brown, Tatum carried the team from the wing in many ways, and they were going to lose minutes and touches. Resentment, trouble there was inevitable.

4. For whatever reason Kyrie has not rallied the team behind him. So either the team changes a lot and he stays or he goes.
 

tbb345

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How is this even possible when you have 6 players whose strength is shot creation with the ball? You are asking/blaming a coach for not changing the fundamental way these players play the game then in the same sentence say he should be playing to their strengths. You can't have it both ways......and you can't put the ball in Kyrie, MaMo, Tatum, Jaylen, Hayward, and Rozier's hands as that is the strengths of each of these players. Hence, redundancy of the roster which is the problem not the coach.
I can agree with that but doesn't that put more urgency/onus on Brad to tweak rotations and minutes more? Ride with the hot hand while it's there? I think you are right in sticking up for Brad with this area but you've also illuminated one of his biggest criticisms.

He has a flawed roster that needs to be tinkered with more than usual yet he is stubbornly sticking with the exact same rotations and minute distributions pretty much every game.
I also remember the days when Stevens was lauded for yanking people who didn't give effort or missed rotations, etc. What happened to that?

Overall, I think both sides are right with Brad. It's absurd to call for his firing or suddenly think he's not a very good coach. However, it's equally absurd to absolve him of all blame and not point out that there are some fairly big issues with the team that he could be more active in fixing
 

HomeRunBaker

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I can agree with that but doesn't that put more urgency/onus on Brad to tweak rotations and minutes more? Ride with the hot hand while it's there? I think you are right in sticking up for Brad with this area but you've also illuminated one of his biggest criticisms.

He has a flawed roster that needs to be tinkered with more than usual yet he is stubbornly sticking with the exact same rotations and minute distributions pretty much every game.
I also remember the days when Stevens was lauded for yanking people who didn't give effort or missed rotations, etc. What happened to that?

Overall, I think both sides are right with Brad. It's absurd to call for his firing or suddenly think he's not a very good coach. However, it's equally absurd to absolve him of all blame and not point out that there are some fairly big issues with the team that he could be more active in fixing
Brad is being discussed in a couple threads. In the other one I pointed out that Brad is not managing minutes to optimize possessions or individual regular season games. He is managing similar to Francona did for the Red Sox when he was similarly criticized for not showing a sense of urgency in July. Brad is managing with an eye toward the playoffs which is why he isn't jerking players minutes around, shuffling rotations, etc that would ruffle more feathers of an already awkward situation with so many players needing numbers to get paid this summer and next. I'm confident he has a plan in this regard but less confident that it will matter due to our flawed roster construction.