Celtics

Terry assists Celtics with inspiring words

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Terry assists Celtics with inspiring words

TORONTO As much as Jason Terry can be outspoken when talking about the Boston Celtics and his love for the franchise, he has been relatively quiet among his teammates.
Like any sharpshooter, Terry understands that there's a time and place to step up -- for him, it was Wednesday night against Toronto.
And while his game was relatively quiet, his words indeed made a major impact in Boston's 99-95 come-from-behind win.
"Jason doesn't talk a lot, but he let guys know, that's not the way we should play, the way we played for three quarters," said C's coach Doc Rivers.
Terry recognized that the Celtics for the first three quarters on Wednesday, looked a lot like the sub-.500 Celtics club that was going nowhere fast and nothing like the club that came into Wednesday's game having won four straight.
"We fell back into some old tendencies," Terry said. "We weren't moving the ball well. Offensively and defensively, we weren't helping out. And so it's so obvious in watching film of our last four or five games, when we play the right way and play Celtic basketball, it's night and day. When we don't, teams are going to get back in it and we're going to fall back into our old habits.
"It was a wake-up call for us," Terry added. "We didn't play our best game tonight. But we found a way to win by playing the right way."
Playing the right way like most things, is easier said than done.
But the Celtics are realizing that their success has to be a team-wide thing.
Because their individual parts simply aren't enough to get it done with any kind of consistency which is exactly what the Celtics are looking for -- that and a few more wins.
And while all the Celtics know this, every now and then it doesn't hurt to get a reminder like the one Terry provided which as it turned out, might have been the biggest assist of the night for Boston.
"And he (Terry) said it going into the fourth, and the message was simple," Rivers said. "The ball will find the open guy. You don't have to dribble around and create your own shot. We got enough scoring. Space the floor and play together. I think that's what we did."

Why did Kyrie want to leave Cavs? He's not saying

Why did Kyrie want to leave Cavs? He's not saying

CLEVELAND – Tonight will be a homecoming of sorts for Kyrie Irving, who spent his first six NBA seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
 
Parting ways is a common occurrence in the NBA so that in itself makes Irving’s return pretty normal.

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Still, this basketball break-up was unlike any we’ve seen in the NBA in recent years.
 
At a time when most players are scurrying as fast as they can to latch on with a title contender, Irving literally went in the opposite direction and asked to be traded from a team that has been to the NBA Finals the past three seasons.
 
And he did so while coming off his best season as an NBA player.
 
So, it only stands to reason that he would be asked about that decision on the eve of his first game back in town.
 
However, Irving’s response to the question did not shed any light on the matter, which is just how he wants it to be.
 
“Well guys, going forward, I want to put that to rest in terms of everyone figuring out or trying to figure out or dive into or continue to dive into a narrative that they have no idea about and that probably will never, ever be divulged because it’s not important,” Irving said. “This was literally a decision that I wanted to make solely based on my happiness and pushing my career forward. I don’t want to pinpoint anything. I will never pinpoint anything because that’s not what real grownups do. They continue to move on with their life and continue to progress. And that’s what I’m gonna continue to do.”
 
Part of that push forward involves helping the Celtics get off to a good start tonight in their season opener at Cleveland.
 
This is a game that’s full of storyline and narratives that only enhance the matchup between arguably the top two teams in the East.
 
But nothing compares to the interest that still exists in Irving’s unexpected decision to ask for a trade back in July, which led to him being traded to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the rights to Brooklyn's 2018 first- round pick and Miami’s 2020 second-round pick.  
 
“I’m just happy to get the season started, regardless of who we play,” said Irving, 25, an All-Star in four of his six seasons with the Cavs. Obviously, it’s made a much bigger deal because it’s the Cleveland Cavaliers. The situation that happened this summer and being part of a great trade. I’m just truly appreciative of having the opportunity to play this game on the biggest stage and be back here in Cleveland to start the season, it feels different but I’m ready to get started.”
 
In addition to the excitement of the game, Cleveland has reportedly prepared a video tribute to Irving that will play at some point in a stoppage of play tonight.
 
“It’s a great honor and truly appreciative of all individuals who put the video together,” Irving said. “Those special relationships don’t go anywhere; just excited to see a lot of old friends and get on with the game.”

Ditto for Celtics coach Brad Stevens who, like Irving, has maintained a level-headed approach to a game that has so many subplots to it.
 
“I know this sounds like a broken record, but play the next possession to the best of our ability,” Stevens said. “What are we gonna do about that? Ultimately, we’re on the road, people are going to cheer against us. It’s the way it works in the NBA. It’ll be a great atmosphere in here tonight. Focus on the task at hand. We play 82 of these; get used to playing through distractions.”
 
Irving echoed similar sentiments while acknowledging how unique tonight’s opener is for all involved.
 
“It’s just one game,” he said. “We all understand that. For me, it comes with a lot of added incentive to go out there and really have fun and play the game I love. I’m really excited to start this season, and get started with the Boston Celtics and continue on with my career.”