BOSTON — Many things were evident to Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving following an embarrassing loss to the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
First, the Nets didn’t do anything well enough on the floor to climb out of a gigantic 46-16 hole after the first quarter.
The second was that his former team in the Celtics appear to be on a mission to not let anything stand in their way in an effort to fulfill their aspirations to claim an NBA title.
“When you’re going against a very motivated team such as the Boston Celtics, they have a chip on their shoulder,” Irving said. “It’s clear as day they want to win the championship and they’re not wasting any time in the regular season. Tonight just felt like we were one of those teams in the way.
“We just can’t be one of those teams in the way. We got to be one of those teams that stands up to them and at least show we’re going to be competition for them moving forward, which I believe we are, but tonight we just didn’t show it.”
The Celtics have had relatively little problem dispatching Irving, who netted a team-high 20 points on 9-for-18 shooting in the loss, and the Nets as of late. Boston has won 10 straight matchups, including a four-game sweep in the first round of last season’s playoffs, against its divisional rival.
Irving, who has been at the center of plenty of controversy across his four seasons with Brooklyn, believes he has somewhat of a beat as to how the Celtics not only own the best record in the NBA, but why Boston repeatedly holds the upper hand over the Nets.
“As a competitor, I’m not going to stop until I figure out what this methodology is to the Boston Celtics is right now and why they’re so hot,” Irving said. “I think I have a main reason is just how connected they are and how much they play together and how many minutes they’ve logged together. And again, that chip on their shoulder. You can see it. You can feel it.”