The Hornets erased an 18-point deficit and Kemba Walker had 18 points in the fourth quarter as Charlotte handed the Celtics a crushing defeat on Saturday. This would be a story in and of itself, but Kyrie Irving appearing to question Brad Stevens and the coaching staff after the game puts it in another light.
While Irving said to “judge us when we have our full line-up,” he was asked about Walker and had this to say: “It’s one on one … down the stretch you try to come in and help as much as possible. We should have probably trapped him a little more like every other team does.”
As Jeff Goodman, a reporter for Stadium who follows the Celtics closely, tweeted, it “[c]ertainly looks like a shot at the game plan, and thus Brad Stevens and the staff. Continues to throw people under the bus to the media.”
It seems like just yesterday when a cross-country plane ride had allegedly saved the Celtics’ season. It’s been under two weeks since a self reflective Kyrie told Chris Haynes about how he could’ve handled things better during what has been a tumultuous season.
“The way I’ve handled things, it hasn’t been perfect,” Irving said in the interview. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes that I take full responsibility for. I apologize. I haven’t done it perfectly. I haven’t said the right things all the time. I don’t want to sit on a place like I’m on a pedestal from anybody. I’m a normal human being that makes mistakes. For me, I think because of how fixated I was on trying to prove other people wrong, I got into a lot of habits that were bad, like reading stuff and reacting emotionally. That’s just not who I am.”
The Celtics are 43-30, and if the season ended today the Pacers would have home-court advantage in the 4-5 series of the first round.