Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Disappointed with the loss, but it was not at all surprising to head coach Brad Stevens who has been raising concerns about his team’s attention to detail for the past few games and sensed it would catch up to them sooner or later.
“I told you, we’re not as good as the 16-game win streak,” Stevens said. “But we do have a lot of resolve. I can’t say enough about our guy’s will to come back. It’s incredible we were able to erase that lead that quickly and give ourselves a chance.”
Indeed, the Celtics rallied from a double-digit deficit to come within a single point in the fourth quarter. But unlike previous games, Boston couldn’t find a path to victory.
“We’re just going to continue to learn and continue to get better,” Irving said. “It’s the same things echoed when we were winning. Just continue to get better and understand, there’s still a lot for us to accomplish going forward.
He added, “It was a good streak, and it’s finally come to an end.”
Brad Stevens didn’t wake up this morning feeling thankful. He woke up feeling relieved. Over the last week of the streak, the Cs demonstrated incredible resolve, ripping games away late from opponents to keep the improbable going, while continuing to fall into bad habits. It’s refreshing to hear Stevens say that he’s impressed with his team’s fight while also admitting that the Cs haven’t been as good as their 16-game win streak would indicate.
Most teams in the NBA, let alone the Celtics, won’t go over a month without losing a game again this season, and that’s probably a relief to Stevens, who can now really dig into fixing the flaws of his really talented team to ensure long-term success.
Over the course of the streak, and especially over the last week or so, the Celtics: Haven’t shot the ball well at all, have had some high turnover games, have allowed big nights from opposing guards (Schroeder, Barea, Barnes, Dragic, Waiters), have gotten little to nothing from the bench, have seen Al Horford come back down to earth offensively. The Cs can now focus on fine-tuning what helped them start the streak in the first place without the “hoopla” (Kyrie’s favorite word) that comes along with daily national attention.
On page 2, Kyrie’s priorities have changed
At 25, Kyrie Irving admits his priorities as one of the greatest scorers in the NBA have changed. The 47 points he scored Monday night in Dallas might have been necessary in that game, but that’s no longer the kind of number that dominates his nightly thoughts.
“The focus is a lot different on a lot of different things when you’re younger,” Irving said before this morning’s shootaround at American Airlines Arena. “Also it could be different things you’re going through where you are, or just development.
If this quote came during Irving’s first press conference in August I might have rolled my eyes, but we now have 19 games of proof that Irving is playing a different brand of basketball than he played in Cleveland. Take his 47-point game the other night and his quote that came in its aftermath:
I loved this answer and I believe this answer. Kyrie is willing and able to give the game what it needs.