Boston Celtics: Kyrie Irving’s All-Star presence missed in loss to 76ers

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 18: Jayson Tatum
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 18: Jayson Tatum /

On Thursday, the Boston Celtics got some good news pregame but bad news during the game. 

First, the good news

A few hours before tipoff against the 76ers, Kyrie Irving got some good news. In his first season with the Boston Celtics, Kyrie was named an All-Star starter for this year’s game in Los Angeles. After missing last year’s game due to an injury, Kyrie is now an all-star for the fifth time in his career.

Kyrie is putting up a very solid this season for Boston. He is the clear focal point of the offense, putting up 24/5/4 on 47 FG% and 39 3P%. Also, the Celtics PG has a 31.5% usage rate (6th in the NBA) and Boston is noticeably worse on offense with Kyrie off the floor.

When asked about being selected, Kyrie said, “I am super proud that I can represent the Celtics in L.A. and look forward to putting on a show”. In his previous four All-Star Games, Kyrie averaged19.8 PPG, 9.3 APG, shot 65% from the field and 53% from three. His 31/14/5 in 2014 earned him the 2014 All-Star Game MVP. Safe to say he is going to put on another show, especially with former teammate LeBron James potentially on the opposing bench.

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Then, the bad news

Unfortunately for the Celtics, Kyrie missed just his third game of the season with shoulder soreness. Boston clearly missed his offensive firepower. The Celtics scored a season low 80 points and shot just 7/29 from three. After managing just 53 points through three quarters, a late surge fell short and the 76ers won their first game against the Celtics since March 19, 2017.

Joel Embiid and TJ McConnell dominated for the Sixers. Embiid put up 26 & 10 and McConnell added fifteen points off the bench. In the third quarter, the new dynamic duo had 19 of the team’s 32 and the last 15 points of the period.

Overall, this can be marked down as a throw away game for the Boston Celtics. Without their star and point guard, Boston is a completely different team.

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

As Boston closes out January, expect plenty more All-Star caliber performances from Kyrie Irving and a team playing like they sport the second best record in the NBA.