Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors fans could be in for a potential NBA Finals preview Saturday night when the two teams collide at TD Garden.

Golden State is in the middle of one of the most dominant stretches in NBA history, and won’t face LeBron James in the NBA Finals this season for the first time during its reign of terror — if the team makes it, of course. Without the threat of James in the Eastern Conference, many members of the Warriors have pegged the C’s as the next team to beat.

One of the biggest reasons why the Warriors respect the Celtics so much is because of Kyrie Irving.

“He really catapults them,” Shaun Livingston said according to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “You put that experience, the level of talent from a mental standpoint, he’s on another level. You categorize the superstar players based on what they do in the playoffs. So that’s why he gets so much respect.”

Livingston didn’t stop there when talking about Irving’s performance in the finals.

“He did it at the top level,” Livingston said. “If he don’t hit that shot, a lot of things are different.”

Warriors star forward Kevin Durant also showed some love for the 26-year-old’s play.

“It’s just the (basketball) style that’s more my taste,” Durant said. “What I like as a fan of the game.”

Sitting in just fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings entering Saturday night’s contest, Boston has some work to do to meet the Warriors’ lofty aspirations, but having Irving on the roster definitely helps.

Thumbnail photo via Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports Images