BOSTON — Things never seemed to get truly heated at TD Garden on Sunday afternoon, but once the Boston Celtics started really taking control, the temperature of the game certainly heated up.
During the Celtics’ 84-74 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of their first-round NBA Playoff series, Celtics third-year wing Jaylen Brown shoved Bojan Bogdanovic with 3:20 left in the game, resulting in Brown getting a technical foul.
Fortunately for Brown, the game pretty much was out of reach when he let his emotions get the better of him. But when it happened, Kyrie Irving played a chief role in getting Brown to mellow out a bit.
After the game, Irving gave a pretty long answer as to what his message for Brown was and why.
“I was like, ‘we’re in a long series with these guys. Emotions can get the best of you, but once you settle in, you let all that go, then it’s time to move on to the next thing,'” Irving said. “Guys are getting pushed, guys are getting fouled. We understand the magnitude of the moment, and you can’t let the moment get too big to you.
“No matter if, I hate to say this, if somebody pushes you down you’ve got to get them back somehow, some way on another end or another game and just save it and really perform at that next level. That’s the maturity of this league. We all have instances where we’re challenged and things don’t go our way and it’s how you respond and that’s the most important thing.
“So,” Irving continued, “JB had the right to do what he did, but after that’s it’s they shoot a technical and — I just think about the circumstances, if they were different. If it were a four-point game, if it was a three-point game, and that stuff happens. Then it can change the whole momentum of a game … So in that moment I was just like, ‘JB, you’re good. We understand your frustration but now it’s just time to move on to the next thing.’ So that’s always going to be my advice for everything throughout these series is that anything can happen, anything can impact the game, you never know. So control what you can control and just go out there and perform.”
With Marcus Smart out, there really isn’t a ton of room for tomfoolery. It sounds like that’s not lost on Irving, and he’s going to do everything in his power to make sure no one lets themselves get too out of hand.