Celtics

Cavs' Irving making case for All-Star game

987651.jpg

Cavs' Irving making case for All-Star game

CLEVELAND There's no need to send out corny videos or some cheesy Vote-for-Kyrie t-shirt or any type of hype-driven propaganda to try and get Eastern Conference coaches to vote Kyrie Irving on to this year's all-star team.

Just look at him play.

That should do it.

Irving put on a one-man show Tuesday night in leading the Cavaliers to a 95-90 win over Boston.

The second-year guard lit the Celtics up for 40 points which included 15 in the decisive fourth quarter. His 15-point total in the fourth nearly matched the entire scoring output of the Celtics (17).

While Irving was well aware that the coaches voting for All-Star reserves is coming up soon, he said he wasn't thinking about that on Tuesday night.

"I was just trying to get a win," Irving said. "We desperately needed it."

But for a player who plays for team with as pitiful a record (11-32) as the Cavs have this season, these are the kind of performances that could be the difference between being an All-Star and an All-Star snub.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers has praised Irving's play all season. And while Rivers has made a team's success a major criteria in who he selects as an All-Star reserve, he said it was difficult for him to not vote for Irving.

"It's a hard one for me," Rivers said in voting for Irving. "But he's playing so well. I think it'll be close, for him. I don't do that very often (vote for players on losing teams), I can tell you that."

Prior to being selected with the No. 1 overall pick by Cleveland in 2011, Irving spent one season at Duke - similar to what Rivers' son Austin did last year prior to be drafted by the New Orleans Hornets last June.

"Maybe it's the Duke love," quipped Rivers. "I'm not sure what it was."

You can add Paul Pierce to the growing list of folks who are also impressed with Irving's all-around game.

He's tough," Pierce said. "He's probably the best scoring point guard in the league. The way he penetrates, mid-range, 3-point game, ... there's no scoring point guard like him in the league."

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Gordon Hayward had surgery on his left ankle Wednesday night.

While there was hope he could return, Hayward's agent told Adrian Wojnarowski that the Celtics forward is unlikely to play for the remainder of the season.

MORE:

Hayward suffered the injury in the first quarter of Boston’s 102-99 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-8 All-Star landed awkwardly on his ankle after a lob pass by Kyrie Irving was deflected by LeBron James.

“We’re expecting this to be a full recovery,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said Wednesday, “No timeline on it but a full recovery.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

best_of_bst_podcast.jpg

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their thoughts on Kyrie Irving’s struggles, not having Gordon Hayward, and the Celtics losing for the 2nd time in as many nights.

6:31 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the message delivered by Hayward to the fans before the game, what was going on with Kyrie’s shot, and why they failed in stopping The Greek Freak.

10:33 - Albert Breer joins BST to preview the Falcons/Patriots Sunday night game and if Atlanta is in the middle of a Super Bowl hangover.

15:40 - In a new game called On The Clock, each person gets 40 seconds to rant on their selected subject including if Red Sox fans can root for the Yankees if the playoffs and how painful the Bruins season will be. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE