The Boston Celtics won their second straight game against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night, keeping them tied with the Indiana Pacers for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
As the postseason rapidly approaches, a happy locker room is all the more important for Boston’s success, and Kyrie Irving’s comments following Wednesday’s win are a great step in that direction.
Irving spoke with reporters in Miami about his relationship with Brad Stevens, saying his connection with the Celtics head coach has “grown tremendously”, per Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Irving added this makes it easier for him to “just go out there and play free”.
As Irving also pointed out to reporters that Stevens is his fifth head coach of his career, which means he’s been through this kind of relationship building before.
“So, Brad’s my fifth head coach,” Irving told reporters, per MassLive. “But for me I take it as an opportunity to get to know an individual, where he comes from, his knowledge of the game, and how he can help me. That’s what you should do with coaches.”
Irving finished with 23 points on 8-of-19 shooting to go along with four assists Wednesday night, but the all-star point guard didn’t play his usual minutes down the stretch.
Brad Stevens told reporters that the 27-year-old had five fouls and remained on the bench so Miami wouldn’t attack him on the defensive end. Despite being on the sidelines, Irving was up on his feet, smiling and cheering during every possession as the Celtics pulled away from the Heat.
The postseason is where the Celtics will need Irving to step up more than ever, but everything that occurred Wednesday night in Miami bodes well for quality stretch run.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images