The Boston Celtics are one win away from the NBA Finals and one can only think of what could have been if Kyrie Irving (and Gordon Hayward) were healthy. Would this Conference Finals series with the Cavs even be competitive if the Celtics had their best two players? Probably not. However, wouldn’t it be more impressive if the Celtics actually win this series without their star point guard? Just don’t tell Kyrie that because he would much rather be out there playing.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens gave some insight on the behind the scenes look at what’s going through Irving’s mind.
“In our sit-downs or just our casual conversations, he seems to be in a great place,” Stevens said via Chris Forsberg of ESPN. “It’s killing him not to be out on the floor. But I think that would be the case, obviously, any time you’re playing this deep into the playoffs, especially in a new place. Other than that, his recovery is going great. We’re excited about that. But he seems to be in a good place.”
Obviously, you have to consider the fact that Irving helped the Celtics win 55 games this year. Boston is 10-0 at home this postseason and may not have even won their first-round series without homecourt advantage. Danny Ainge obviously can’t help but consider how good the Celtics could be with their two stars out on the floor.
Can you imagine what the narrative will be if Kyrie beats LeBron in the Conference Finals and doesn’t even have to play a minute in the series? Boston will have two chances to close out the Cavs with Game 6 on Friday and potentially Game 7 on Sunday. It’s hard not to picture Kyrie Irving’s heroics in Game 7 of the NBA Finals against the Warriors two years ago and what could have been this year in Boston. That’s okay, Banner 18 is coming in 2019 if you don’t already know that.