The Boston Celtics’ postseason came to a tragic end on Wednesday, May 8th when the Milwaukee Bucks took the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a final win (116-91) to end the series (4-1). Not only did the Bucks shutdown the Celtics from having a repeat of last year’s advance to the Eastern Finals, but all hopes of seeing an all-star team form from Boston’s roster have been diminished. Even though the Bucks were the top seed in the East and maintained the best record in the NBA, they can’t take all the credit for the Celtics’ atrocious playing—both regular and postseason.
So, who’s to blame for the Boston Celtics’ shortcomings this time around? Respectfully, some may blame the general manager and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge for putting together the troubled roster. Many blame head coach Brad Stevens for not having control of the team and what looked like a bunch of boys fighting on the playground basketball court. However, the one we can all kindly agree to take the most responsibility for the Celtics’ disheartening season is none other than the infamous Kyrie Irving.
It was apparent to the naked eye the Celtics had trouble on the court all season long. This stemmed from a lack of communication with one another, a connection between the players, and of course an issue of dominance that no solution would be able to solve. When the trade
was finalized to have Kyrie Irving as the face of the franchise, he clearly bit off more than he could chew. As a leader of the Celtics, or any team for that matter, you must be willing to be there for your teammates, help them any which way you can and own up to the failures as well as create solutions for the future in bettering the team. Irving couldn’t do any of that.
He constantly had issues with many of the younger players on the team, he was found making excuses for his mistakes rather than owning up to them and was seen as more of a maverick rather than a team player. I guess the underlining question here is: why are you still here?
In last year’s postseason, the Celtics managed to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier at the forefront while Irving remained out for the season due to a knee injury. When comparing last season to this season, it’s like night and day. Boston found themselves playing as a team rather than being divided, as if each player had something to prove.
It could very well be due to the dominance issue mentioned above or the lack in leadership Irving provided, however this team had an inconsistent season all year long and fell apart in a time when they needed to come together the most.
The chemistry is not there for Irving and the Celtics and he made that well aware in game five of the semifinals when he hugged his opponents before the game was even over and stormed off to the locker room. It was disappointing to see him give up midway through the game but even harder to watch his postgame interview where he is seen unamused by the question of him staying in Boston and looked like he rather be anywhere else in the world. If you don’t believe me then see it for yourself—just be ready to cringe.
It’s always heartbreaking when something you’ve invested in doesn’t quite reciprocate the effort that’s being put in. However, like any bad break up, you must know when it’s time to call it quits and move on. As of now, it is unknown the fate of Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics’ future.
If you were to ask me, I think Irving had his time in Boston but now it’s time for him to leave. Open up the salary cap, a whopping $21 million, invest in some young blood and rebuild this team from the ground up. Irving, 27, has a few good years left in him as long as he finds the right team. Rather than wasting any more time at a place he doesn’t want to be at, it’s time to say goodbye for the benefit of him and the Celtics—but after watching this season, anything can happen in a blink of an eye.
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