Before scoring 31 points in the Celtics’ win over the Pistons last night, Kyrie Irving was averaging 14 points per game while shooting 39% from the field and 24% on 3-pointers.
Small sample size? Rust after knee surgery?
“The clear realization is this is not what I’m used to,” Irving said after Boston’s 109-89 win at Detroit. “Going from being a high PPG (points per game) scorer, being stat-dominated and coming to this type of environment where the best thing for us is to care about the team. It’s not going to be everyone’s night every single night, but I know that when it gets down the stretch, when I’m needed I’ll be ready. So, it’s a learning experience for me.”
Sometimes, I just don’t get this guy.
But at least there was a clear pecking order with the Cavaliers – LeBron then Irving then Love. With the Celtics, it’s more nebulous. They’re so deep, and everyone is adjusting to new roles after a deep playoff run without Irving and Gordon Hayward. It’s possible Jayson Tatum is already better or will soon surpass Irving. That Marcus Morris has been Boston’s best player so far is nice for him, but also shows just how out of sync this team has been.
I expect the Celtics to get past this. They’re well-coached and full of players – including Irving – who seem committed to finding the right fit.
But for Cleveland, this sounds like another punch in the gut.