Boston Celtics: Kyrie Irving ‘interested’ in team’s response to recent slide

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 11: Kyrie Irving
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 11: Kyrie Irving /

Gordon Hayward may not be walking through that door this season, but Kyrie Irving is.  The Boston Celtics star says he is intrigued by how his team responds to recent losses. 

Oh, how things change over a span of weeks in the NBA.  It was just weeks ago that Boston Celtics fans were on cloud 9 watching their team control the Eastern Conference while the Cleveland Cavaliers wallowed in drama.

Fast forward a couple weeks and LeBron’s revamped Cavs team is back as favorite, while the Celtics have slid out of the top spot.  All teams have their ups and downs during an NBA season, but following Sunday’s 22-point loss to the Cavaliers, a sense of urgency has set in.  Urgency that Kyrie Irving feels the team needs to grow as a contender.

While the team has losing 3 of the last 4 games on their minds, including blowouts to both Toronto and Cleveland, Irving says the team can only look forward.  It’s how they respond that will determine their true place in the conference.

Related Story: Concern sets in following blowout loss to Cavs

"“I’m just interested to see how we respond,” Irving said, via the Boston Herald."

With a team mostly made up of younger players, Irving knows this is a stretch that will help them grow.  To be fair to the team, they have encountered a grueling early part of the schedule as well as injuries.  Those two factors have certainly played a part in the team’s struggles as of late.

A time to reflect and regroup

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Still, the team is 40-18 and are in great position heading into the NBA All-Star break. With Cleveland surging and the Raptors looking legit, Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics will have some time to rest, regroup and restore their energy.

"“It’s vital. Every day is an opportunity to progress,” Irving said.  “Sometimes you’re going to get hit back.  Like I said, I’m just interested to see how we respond.  It takes first, individually, going back and doing the things we need to do to learn, and then as a group we all come back together.  So we’re still consistently learning and evolving and going against great teams like this that hopefully we’ll see down the line.”"

Irving maintained that the experience will be great for the team in the long run.  In the meantime, this is a team that has to get its energy back and play the defense they have been noted for.  The return of Marcus Smart should help with that.

Overall, the Boston Celtics have to find consistency on both ends of the court.  Young players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have to find those fresh legs.  Veterans like Al Horford and Irving himself have to instill a leadership that will help those young players respond.

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

Most importantly, head coach Brad Stevens has to push the right buttons.  That is a quality that has made him one of the top coaches in the NBA.