Kyrie Irving: Hardwood Magician

Eddie Jurak

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Does Smart really need to play point guard? I thought he was pretty successful at the 2 against smaller lineups. It's not like they won't be babying Hayward to start.
I like Smart at PG lineups from a defensive perspective. Smart, Brown, Hayward, Tatum, Horford is a pretty devastating defensive lineup that is basically immune to what ended up being the go-to strategy against the Celtics in the playoffs of isolating bigger wings on the PG.

That's one thing I don't like about having both Irving and Rozier taking all of the PG minutes.
 

DrewDawg

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(What remains unclear is how coach Brad Stevens can manage the minutes at point guard between Irving, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier without someone getting out of sorts.)
The same way he managed it last year?
 

mcpickl

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The same way he managed it last year?
You don't think it's a little different this year?

Rozier averaged 23 minutes a game with 8.5 shots before Smart got hurt in January, then 30 minutes a game with 12.5 shots the rest of the regular season. Then in the playoffs he's up to 36.5 minutes with 14 shots and some big moments.

He probably thinks he's earned, deservedly, a role as a 30 minute a game guy.

With Kyrie and Hayward back, there's no realistic way for him to get those minutes. He's now also a guy in a contract year who'll want more minutes than he got at the beginning of last season.

I think it has to be managed much differently this year.
 

the moops

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Simple math

Kyrie 30
Smart 30
Rozier 30
Hayward 30
Tatum 30
Brown 30
Horford 30

Theis/Baynes/Morris get a combined 30 depending on matchups.
 

mcpickl

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Simple math

Kyrie 30
Smart 30
Rozier 30
Hayward 30
Tatum 30
Brown 30
Horford 30

Theis/Baynes/Morris get a combined 30 depending on matchups.
That is simple, and I believe incorrect, math.

I think Theis/Baynes/Morris are going to be in the 50 minute a game range.

Those top seven guys are in my eyes, two point guards, a combo guard, a two guard, two small forwards, and a power forward who doesn't want to play center. That's a really small team.

I know everyone is horny that the Celtics are going to play small all the time. I just don't think they will, or should.
 

nighthob

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On the other hand Marcus Smart is the guy that made both Dwight Howard and Joel Embiid cry about how rough he was with them.
 

Saints Rest

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Simple math

Kyrie 30
Smart 30
Rozier 30
Hayward 30
Tatum 30
Brown 30
Horford 30

Theis/Baynes/Morris get a combined 30 depending on matchups.
For the season, those numbers may come close, due to the various matchups, injuries, rests, and blowouts. But it’s unlikely that we will ever see a single game that looks like that.
 

benhogan

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Good to see we have moved on from the "who will start?" quandary to "how will everyone get enough minutes?" annual pre-season question.

1. injuries happen.
2. key veterans need rest over the course of 82 regular season games leading up to 8 weeks of playoff basketball.

Anyone think Kyrie, Al or Gordon are going to be upset if they only play limited minutes against the Magic, Nets, Kings, Hawks, Cavs, Knicks, Pistons, Bulls, Suns, Clippers, Grizz, Hornets etc when they are up 20 in the 3rd Quarter?

Prediction: Theis, Wanamaker, Ojeleye will play meaningful minutes/games this season. That's really going to blow up MPG/# of players calculations
 
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nighthob

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And James Harden: the best final minutes of last season.
Yeah, but you expect the 6'4" 225lb Smart to make guards cry. It's the fact that he makes the NBA's behemoths cry (and specifically that they were crying because he was pushing them around) that makes him special.
 

mcpickl

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Good to see we have moved on from the "who will start?" quandary to "how will everyone get enough minutes?" annual pre-season question.

1. injuries happen.
2. key veterans need rest over the course of 82 regular season games leading up to 8 weeks of playoff basketball.

Anyone think Kyrie, Al or Gordon are going to be upset if they only play limited minutes against the Magic, Nets, Kings, Hawks, Cavs, Knicks, Pistons, Bulls, Suns, Clippers, Grizz, Hornets etc when they are up 20 in the 3rd Quarter?

Prediction: Theis, Wanamaker, Ojeleye will play meaningful minutes/games this season. That's really going to blow up MPG/# of players calculations
Of course not. But they'll also have tight games against Toronto, Philly, Indiana, Milwaukee, Miami, Washington, Golden State, Houston OKC etc where they'll play more than 30 minutes to balance that out.

I think the rest thing is a bit overrated too. It's not like they're going to sit out 20 games resting. Even the kings of rest in San Antonio would rest guys a handful of games over the course of a season. Don't think even Duncan got as high as ten.

As fans, and organizations, I think the idea that the minutes will all work out due to injuries is probably true. But I doubt players think that way. I doubt guys like Rozier and Morris think when they get 12 minutes in a game against Milwaukee will be cool with it thinking, maybe someone will get hurt or rested next game and I can get some minutes. I think they'll want, and expect, to play big minutes every night.
 

RedOctober3829

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Kyrie sitdown with Jackie Mac.

“Expectations are soaring for a deep Boston team that thrived on the defensive end last season, but missed Irving's offensive artistry once the postseason began. When asked if it would be a disappointment if the Celtics didn't make it to the Eastern Conference finals in 2019, Irving firmly answers, "Yes.''

Pressed if he would be disappointed if they didn't win a championship, Irving responds, "Can we beat Golden State in a seven-game series? Yes.''

What makes him so sure?

"Because of who we have,'' Irving answers, "and what we're establishing here, not just for this season, but for hopefully for the next few years, something that's pretty special.

"I've played against Golden State in three straight Finals (2015-17) -- two that I was able to participate in -- and seeing them evolve, with the talent they have, and then adding DeMarcus Cousins (this offseason), it's like 'OK, the whole league is on notice.'

"But there's one factor that they're aware of, and I'm aware of, and that's that I've seen them up close. I've played them so many times. We've gone in a seven-game series (when I was in Cleveland), so I know what it takes.

"Now, how do I communicate to our guys that this is the top-tier team, and we have to grow immensely in the next six months to beat them consistently? Not just one game, not just two, but in a seven-game series, because they're so dang great. They're a powerhouse.''
————————————————————
Irving says he's aware that he's been linked to Jimmy Butler in persistent free-agent rumors regarding a mutual desire to play together in New York, but he says he's had no such discussions with Butler. In fact, he says, the last time he talked to Butler at length was when they were both playing with USA Basketball, and the two engaged in a spit-balling session along with Durant and Cousins about what the future held for each of them.

"And that,'' Irving laughs, "was in 2016.''

"Who wouldn't be a part of this?" Irving says, gesturing to Boston's new practice facility. "Who wouldn't want to be a part of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum and Al Horford and Gordon Hayward? People keep saying, 'Why won't he commit to Boston?'

"Well, there are financial implications involved.”

 

Ed Hillel

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Well, that’s basically him saying he’s here for the long haul and just waiting to sign after the season to secure more money.

Yay.

Double yay.

TRIPLE yay.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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After seeing Kyrie versus the Warriors at Oracle last January as well as his past meetings with them and reading that piece, its clear he relishes facing GS above all. Coupled with his positive statements about the C's core as well as the reference to "financial implications" and it seems like he thinks Boston gives him the best shot to compete (and go up against the SamRayNots) and get paid.

Can the damn season start already?
 
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maufman

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Kyrie and GH interviewed by Rachel Nichols, late-night SportsCenter. Kyrie said all the right things about being in Boston for “years to come.” Obviously he wasn’t going to blatantly be a mercenary with his teammate sitting right next to him, but he didn't equivocate at all.

And he didn’t wax poetic about Celtic tradition or the Boston fans; it was all about how good the team is, and that they have a chance to compete for championships for the next several years. This makes me feel good, because it’s authentic — it’s the reasons Kyrie should want to stay, and it’s things he wouldn’t say out loud if he was even thinking of bolting to New York next summer.
 

lovegtm

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It seems clear that if his free agency were tomorrow, he'd re-sign. Things change during a year in the NBA, so no guarantees. But that cuts both ways: if he gets badly hurt again, the Celtics might be glad to avoid a big deal. Both scenarios are low odds, but the risk is on both sides.
 

benhogan

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It seems clear that if his free agency were tomorrow, he'd re-sign. Things change during a year in the NBA, so no guarantees. But that cuts both ways: if he gets badly hurt again, the Celtics might be glad to avoid a big deal. Both scenarios are low odds, but the risk is on both sides.
if the knee problem sidelines him again, Kyrie might not see that max deal.

Then again Danny doesn't have to come to a decision for another 10 months and he retains all the time value optionality.

I like the Celtics position on Kyrie.
 

Just a bit outside

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Great article on how Kyrie got himself back into on-court shape here: https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/celtics/2018/09/27/how-kyrie-irving-got-his-groove-back-the-story-his-secret-seattle-workouts/j7AW8Q4QrhbPfpIFUKXmrM/story.html

Minor quibble: Jamal Crawford is one "of the most talented ball-handlers in NBA history"? Is Himmelsbach being funny with his reference to "ball-handlers"?
I was just listening to the freakanomics podcast and JJ Redick said The exact same thing about Jamal’s handle.
 

JCizzle

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That makes your buddy and me leprechaun brothers?

Yeah I was there too

Not sure what was more impressive today, meeting #34 or hearing that with one's own ears.
Very jealous of both.

Pumped at this news, lets fucking goooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! I need this season to start ASAP.
 

HomeRunBaker

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No ... he said he wants to. There is no deal, and a long time to go
What are you talking about? He just announced it. So unless Ainge doesn't want him he's going to sign unless he shares DNA with DeAndre Jordan.
 

E5 Yaz

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What are you talking about? He just announced it. So unless Ainge doesn't want him he's going to sign unless he shares DNA with DeAndre Jordan.
He plans on resigning. There's a long way between now and when the ink dries
 

lovegtm

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What are you talking about? He just announced it. So unless Ainge doesn't want him he's going to sign unless he shares DNA with DeAndre Jordan.
Exactly. Aside from DeAndre, there are very, very few instances of players walking back public, verbal commitments to sign.
 

Imbricus

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Yeah, this has been a non-story for a while. Bored sportswriters have been trying to gin up drama with "Will he jump to the Knicks" and "Will he leave to play somewhere with Butler"? I never believed it. Glad he's finally revealed his intentions. Nothing is ever certain, but I think chances of him returning are north of 99% (99.4%, 99.6%, right around there).
 

RedOctober3829

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Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving made a somewhat stunning announcement on Thursday, declaring at a fan appreciation event at TD Garden he intends to re-sign with the Celtics next summer. Here are five thoughts about the announcement, the timing, and what it all means.

■ According to a league source, Irving had initiated brief conversations with Celtics officials in recent days in which he indicated he was “pretty confident” he wants to re-sign with the team this summer after opting out of the final year of his current deal. The Celtics believed Irving wanted to be a Celtic, but there hadn’t really been recent in-depth chats about the matter. When the Celtics were almost caught off-guard by the sudden pronouncement, Irving told them he just wanted them to know exactly how he felt.

■ Irving also informed the Celtics he wanted to make his sentiment public. According to a league source, he said he would declare it during his group interview with the media prior to Thursday’s fan event. The scrum was held in front of a green tarp in the visitors’ locker room at TD Garden, and Irving spoke for nearly nine minutes. He talked about his sore ribs and his business aspirations, but he did not mention anything about his future in Boston. (Although, in fairness, he was not asked.) He did not tell the Celtics he had another approach in mind, however. And while taking part in a brief question-and-answer session monitored by Celtics television analyst Brian Scalabrine, Irving was asked how important it was for him to have his No. 11 retired by the Celtics one day. Irving stood up from a barstool on the court, with a microphone in hand, and said he planned to re-sign with the Celtics.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/celtics/2018/10/04/five-thoughts-about-kyrie-irving-surprising-celtics-announcement/vydhzSCTGCKJ5mxKv6OJpJ/story.html
 

Gash Prex

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It’s also one less distraction to deal with during the season - excited and happy to be able to watch Kyrie for next 5 seasons.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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It’s great to hear but I was never really worried about it to begin with. I’d kinda like all the talk of hanging #11 in the rafters to quiet down - he’s been here one season. As
Someone else noted, let’s hang #18 before we even bring that up.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Its big news no matter how you slice it. I agree with E5 in that its not a done deal but him announcing his preference to stay in Boston gives Danny a lot more flexibility in terms of how he continues to shape the roster. Again, anything can happen but this is now Kyrie's team in the truest sense. He may not get a situation with a coach and supporting cast like this anywhere else and he appears to realize it.

Lets GOOOO!
 

Sam Ray Not

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Great news. And as an added bonus for me: to the extent that that Chris Haynes KD-to-NY rumor had any merit at all, I get the sense Kyrie staying in Boston lowers the chances of it — not only because it's hard to find another player outside of Kyrie and the GS crew whose game and personality fits KD's so well, but also because KD is young and impressionable, and Kyrie (following in the footsteps of Paul George) has quietly set a precedent for staying put being the cool thing to do.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Kyrie: Hey man I really want to sign my deal to be in Boston. I want to make my feelings public asap.

Wyc: For real boo? I just need you to do me one favor. One real big favor.

Kyrie: What's that home slice?

Wyc: Do NOT under any circumstance say that you want us to back up any Brinks truck!
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Great news. And as an added bonus for me: to the extent that that Chris Haynes KD-to-NY rumor had any merit at all, I get the sense Kyrie staying in Boston lowers the chances of it — not only because it's hard to find another player outside of Kyrie and the GS crew whose game and personality fits KD's so well, but also because KD is young and impressionable, and Kyrie (following in the footsteps of Paul George) has quietly set a precedent for staying put being the cool thing to do.
KD is 30, I’m not sure I’d call that young. I hope your last point is true, I’m tired of seeing guys jump bandwagon for a super team. It makes for a fun offseason but I think it takes away from the game.
 

Sam Ray Not

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KD is 30, I’m not sure I’d call that young.
Ha, yeah, I was more talking about emotional age. At the risk of spewing the same $.02 psychological analysis of KD that I loathe among the talking heads, I get the sense he's the type of guy who could easily be swayed by what others in his peer group are doing. And from what I've heard, he's pretty tight with Kyrie.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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KD couldn't have picked a better situation for himself not just in terms of the Warriors talent but also in the Bay Area where quirky, somewhat mercurial personalities (and burner phones) are more a source of amusement than they are a focal point for the local media. I don't know the man but I strongly suspect KD would tire of a bigger market where his every move is scrutinized and framed by local scribes, be it on or off the court.

Similarly, Irving's quirks weren't as big a deal in his first year in Boston because he was acquired via trade rather than through a large contract, he had a great season and the expectations around the team essentially evaporated six minutes into the season. Furthermore, I think Irving realizes the value of a strong front office and a sharp, stable coaching regime as well as the talent he has around them.

Both players are also smart enough to realize that were they to form a new superteam in a place like NY, they would be under the gun in fairly short order. Given that both NY teams front-offices and coaching are essentially in the middle of rebooting, its a very risky gambit all the way around (if you think KD gets shit now for front-running, imagine how he would be viewed after signing on in NY and not winning or underperforming - he would be savaged by the local and national media as a true mercenary).

If Irving and KD go to NY and win it would be amazing but there are a lot of things that need to break right for that to happen. And the downside is pretty big too. On the other hand, KD staying with the Warriors, where he has already won, and Irving staying in Boston and trying for banner number 18 gives each a much clearer path to more winning without all the baggage of trying to form yet another superteam in one of the toughest sports markets on the planet.

October 17 cannot get here soon enough...
 

DisgruntledSoxFan77

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Kyrie: Hey man I really want to sign my deal to be in Boston. I want to make my feelings public asap.

Wyc: For real boo? I just need you to do me one favor. One real big favor.

Kyrie: What's that home slice?

Wyc: Do NOT under any circumstance say that you want us to back up any Brinks truck!
A progression of my reactions;

Line 1: ok...

Line 2: boo? Seriously?

Line 3: home sl... Oh for fuck's sake...

Line 4: lol ok, way to redeem yourself!
 

lexrageorge

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From Irving's perspective, he got traded from the team he won a title for and had appeared in the Finals a couple of years running. Aside from Horford and Hayward, he barely knows his new teammates; actually, he probably knows Marcus Smart and probably thinks he's a jerk from playing against him. Then Hayward gets hurt 6 minutes into the season, all the while his knee is bothering him and he's getting hounded by the media about his departure from Cleveland. I can see why he wasn't ready to commit to anything publicly.

It made no sense for him to make any public statements, or even privately acknowledge any desires about staying, until the preseason. Now it's out there, and there will be one less question asked about it until next offseason when the rubber meets the road.
 

bakahump

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It’s great to hear but I was never really worried about it to begin with. I’d kinda like all the talk of hanging #11 in the rafters to quiet down - he’s been here one season. As
Someone else noted, let’s hang #18 before we even bring that up.
Cowens looks at you questioningly.

(kidding. I get its Championship #18)
 

Lose Remerswaal

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So let me get this straight: the guy who last year said he thought the world was flat and then said he was just kidding and seeing how folks would quote anything a celebrity said as the gospel has now said he will be resigning with the C's after this season and everyone is quoting this with no question? Is that about it?
 

Smokey Joe

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So let me get this straight: the guy who last year said he thought the world was flat and then said he was just kidding and seeing how folks would quote anything a celebrity said as the gospel has now said he will be resigning with the C's after this season and everyone is quoting this with no question? Is that about it?
Honestly, it doesn’t matter if you believe him. What matters is the media believes him so they stop writing about how Kyrie and Butler (or KD) are going to sign with Knicks so they can play together next year. If they had the brains to question his statements, they wouldn’t be writing that dreck in the first place.