The Boston Celtics’ 126-116 loss to the Chicago Bulls likely left fans pulling their hair out at home, falling to a team with just 15 wins on the season coming into the game never is a good look for a team that expects to in the hunt to make it out of the Eastern Conference in the playoffs.
The loss had Celtics coach Brad Stevens voicing frustration with his own performance.
But Kyrie Irving? He had a different outlook after Saturday night’s loss.
“I don’t get frustrated anymore,” Irving told reporters after the loss, via NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “This is all part of our season.”
The star point guard said he is unconcerned with the Celtics’ hopes come playoff time, and offered a pretty blunt reason as to why.
“Because I’m here,” he said.
Irving went for 37 points in the loss, adding 10 assists, but it was not enough to get the Celtics back in the game. The Celtics were outplayed in nearly every facet of the game against the Bulls, getting dominated on the boards and allowing Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen to combine for 77 points.
“As a team, as a collective we all have winning at the forefront of our mind, at least I hope so,” Irving said. “You just have to adapt. The teams that adapt the quickest, or adapt at the right time are successful in the playoffs. … We’re still waiting for that thing to click. We have gone on eight-game, six-game, four-game winning streaks, then we hit a lull of three games and we’re back answering questions like this.
“It is what it is. I don’t get frustrated about this stuff anymore. It’s just part of the regular season. In the playoffs when we’re playing one team, preparing for one team, I still don’t see anybody beating us in seven games.”
It’s safe to say with efforts like Saturday, the Celtics won’t be playing for very long once the playoffs roll around. And even on nights when Irving scores at will, the Celtics still have to show up if they expect to come anywhere close to fulfilling the expectation bestowed upon them.