BOSTON — In many respects, Saturday night’s game between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics didn’t feel like just any other game.
Media scrums were bigger, TD Garden was buzzing and filled to the brim and big moments just felt, well, bigger.
But the reality is the Celtics’ 115-111 loss was just another regular season game — As much a regular season game as the Portland Trail Blazers’ win over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, or Memphis Grizzlies’ victory over the Indiana Pacers.
And when Celtics star Kyrie Irving was asked after the game about the playoff atmosphere, he wasn’t buying it. Here’s a transcript of an exchange he had with a reporter about it:
Reporter: One of your points has been with the young guys and the experience. Today was a real playoff atmosphere, you think this is —
Irving: No it was not. No. It’s the regular season.
Reporter: Even with all the hype, even with all the people here?
Irving: What hype? The hype created by everybody else? This is pretty much a regular game just with the best of the best playing, so just with TVs and a million people watching, that’s it. Playoffs are totally different, but I hear your point, go ahead.
The reporter then restated his question, asking if there’s anything the young players can take away from a game like Saturday’s, to which Irving responded by just shaking his head and saying, “It’s a great test.”
Given some of Irving’s past comments (namely challenging the team’s younger players or saying the Celtics would benefit from having a 15-year veteran), the initial question of the youngsters benefiting from Saturday’s game is a valid one.
Given the breadth of experience Irving has in the postseason, however, it’s also understandable he wasn’t fazed by a late-January game, even if it was against the Warriors.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images