Boston Celtics: Kyrie Irving has taken his stardom to another level

DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 20: Kyrie Irving
DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 20: Kyrie Irving /

Kyrie Irving is not just scoring for the Boston Celtics, but making the team around him better by expanding other facets of his game.

How is the Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving trade looking now?  With the Boston Celtics sitting on top of the NBA standings in the midst of a 16-game winning streak, it’s hard to not recognize the C’s as the winner.

That is easy to say with Thomas yet to play a minute with the LeBron James led Cleveland Cavaliers, but the player Irving has become in Boston is undeniable.  With chants of M-V-P in opposing arenas, the man with the unbelievable ball handling ability is not an MVP frontrunner due to his scoring.  He is a frontrunner due to the other things he does on the court that contributes to the team mentality.

Now, don’t let his 47-point outburst Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks fool you.  The Boston Celtics don’t need big scoring performances from Irving to win games.  His commitment on defense as well as his outstanding playmaking is what has contributed to this team’s 16-2 start.

Those attributes, as well as his leadership on and off the court, has also contributed to making young players like Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum better players.  Both players have risen above and beyond expectations on both ends of the court, especially with the loss of Gordon Hayward in the first few minutes of the season.

Doing what it takes to win

DALLAS, TX – NOVEMBER 20: Kyrie Irving
DALLAS, TX – NOVEMBER 20: Kyrie Irving /

In all, it is Irving’s buying into the team concept of basketball offensively and defensively that has taken his stardom to another level.  Sure, he can score and take over a game when he wants as evidenced by his 47 points on just 22 shots.  But, he will do the other things necessary to help his team win.

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There have been nights when he is scoring wasn’t there, but he stepped up with his passing and defense.  That is what truly makes a player an MVP.  As he has proven in back-to-back games in Atlanta and Dallas, he can score with the best of them.

Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens knows what he has in his new superstar player.

"“Obviously, he’s got every move imaginable, but then on top of that, he’s one of the best shooters in the league,” Stevens said Monday night, via ESPN.  “I think sometimes everybody gets caught up in the moves and the dribbling and different things he can do with the ball, but his touch is beautiful with both hands.  He draws a lot of attention.  We didn’t convert like we have on other days, but yeah, he’s got every bit of the game you could have.  He’s got it.”"

Kyrie Irving definitely has it and by taking other aspects of his game to another level, he is proving that he doesn’t need LeBron James to win.  In fact, he is showing that he can do the same things to lead his team to victory as King James.

Next: The 5 faces of the Boston Celtics: The coach, the stars and the future

He may not be 6-foot-9, but he is proving he can play just as big.