Kyrie Irving: Celtics ‘Have to Get Used’ to Pressure

by November 19, 2018
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Kyrie Irving sent a message to his younger Celtics teammates—specifically Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown—following Boston’s 96-88 home loss Saturday night to the Utah Jazz.

Irving says expectations are catching up to the C’s and they have yet to properly respond.

Kyrie knows they have a target on their collective back, and must bounce after being “hit in the mouth a few times.”

Per ESPN:

“I think guys have gotten better,” Irving said. “I think that guys want to take advantage of their talent.

“I think last year, the young guys that are in the locker room now, some of the guys that are playing, they were a little bit younger. They weren’t expected to do as much, and I think that the amount of pressure that we put on them to perform every single night is something that they have to get used to, being part of a great team like this.”

“If you’re not playing to the standard then, as a team, we just don’t all click,” Irving continued. “I think once we get that, and we find that consistency, we’ll be good.”

A year ago, the Celtics were supposed to be built around Irving, [Gordon] Hayward and [Al] Horford. But then Hayward suffered a gruesome season-ending injury six minutes into Boston’s season opener, and both Tatum and Brown were thrust into far larger roles than either ever were expected to be in.

“Whatever word you want to use,” Irving said, when asked if he thought his two young teammates were pressing too much. “I just think that, for the amount of work that, like I said before, that guys put in, I think they have expectations for themselves, and I think that’s completely normal. Getting beaten down on [missing] shots or not being in the right spots … I think that we just have to find the happy balance between those two.

“Going on this early part of the regular season, teams are coming at us, so they’re expecting to make shots, they have a great rhythm; then we get hit in the mouth a few times, and we just gotta be able to respond.”

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