The Celtics got destroyed 116-91 by the Bucks in Milwaukee last night for their season to end 4-1 in the second round. They’ve been a disaster in the entire series as Kyrie Irving started to fade away in the last two games. Last night, Irving was 6/21 for only 15 points.
Irving looks like he will be leaving Boston in free agency this summer and many felt that the root of their problems this season was him. This was also a year where many thought the Celtics would be competing for a title. Teammate Marcus Smart isn’t having that at all though. He’s coming to the defense of Irving by saying putting all the blame on him is BS, per ESPN. Smart thinks also that Irving was brought into a situation where it’s all business and no friends.
“Bulls—. That’s bulls—, said Smart. “Not one of us on this team knows what Kyrie has been through. Probably a few amount of people in this world know what Kyrie goes through. It was hard for him as well. “He was forced into a situation where it was business over the friendships. He had to come into a situation knowing this is a group of guys that had something going before [he came] here. ‘How will I fit in?’ He didn’t want to disrupt that. That says a lot. This is Kyrie Irving we’re talking about it, and he’s worried about coming in and disrupting us. We took him in with full arms. We tried to understand. But like I said, we never really understood because we’re not in his shoes. That’s just a bulls— statement to say his leadership skills killed us.”
Many saw Irving’s leadership on and off the court for the Celtics’ fall. In a loss to Orlando on the road in January, he also went off on teammates Gordon Hayward and Al Horford. Irving has also failed to properly credit teammates, which included Smart. Towards the end of the season, Irving also said he doesn’t “owe anybody s*it” when it was brought up if he’d re-sign with Boston after expressing his commitment with the team back in October. His vibe towards the team definitely changed over the course of the season in the middle of the Celtics’ struggles. When the season ended in the Bucks series, he then disappeared.
It definitely doesn’t fall 100% on Irving in losing the Bucks series though. I think Gordon Hayward was also still not 100% healthy as he was still feeling the effects of his gruesome leg injury in the first game of the season in 2017-18. As of now, the Celtics don’t run the East by any means. The Bucks and Raptors are the better contenders by a mile.
Flip the page to watch Marcus Smart coming to the defense of Kyrie Irving.