It’s been a trying season for Kyrie Irving, both on and off the court.

Irving has had a handful of dust-ups with the media over the course of the campaign. Irving’s leadership has been called into question on more than one occasion, and an impending career decision only has intensified the spotlight fixated over him.

The star point guard hasn’t let this affect his play, though, as he’s currently averaging 23.7 points, 7.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game. But when it comes to the collective, the Celtics thus far haven’t come close to meeting expectations are in danger of entering the postseason without home-court advantage.

While it seems as though Irving’s concerns have somewhat subdued, 14-year NBA veteran Stephen Jackson on Tuesday provided some insight as to what has depressed the Celtics star for the bulk of the campaign.

It’s tough to blame Irving for feeling this way. One can imagine how difficult it was for him to be sidelined for the 2018 playoffs, which in turn likely boosted his excitement and motivation for the current season. And as the Celtics’ clear-cut leader, the bulk of their struggles this season have fallen on his shoulders, even though he’s undeniably been their most consistent player.

That said, it looks like Boston might be trending in the right direction. The C’s have won five of their last seven games and largely have been playing a more spirited brand of basketball since the start of their recent West Coast trip. The previously lacked sense of urgency seems to be kicking in, and it will need to be taken to the next level if Boston has any hope of reaching the NBA Finals.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images