MILWAUKEE -- As Kyrie Irving walked onto the practice floor, something didn’t feel right.
The Boston Celtics are playing the Milwaukee Bucks at the old MECCA, a place where some of the greatest battles between Boston and Milwaukee took place.
In addition to the location, the players will also play on a replica court similar to the one that Larry Bird and other Celtics greats played on back in the late 1980s.
Irving is all about recognizing and embracing basketball history, but there was no getting around his concern for the court on which he and his teammates will be playing tonight.
When asked about the brightly painted court, Irving’s initial response was, “I’m all about safety. We’ll see how it is on my knees, see how it is on everyone’s bodies. I know it’s a pretty older court; it looks like it’s fresh-painted as well. Just do my assessment and go from there.”
Considering how the Celtics have been impacted by injuries already, Irving’s concerns about the floor are legitimate.
Gordon Hayward was lost for the season after suffering a dislocated left ankle injury and fractured tibia in the Celtics' season opener. Marcus Smart has missed the last two games with a left ankle sprain. He is participating in this morning's shoot-around and is considered a game-time decision.
“It took me three steps (on the court) to realize this is not the same NBA court that I’m used to playing on,” Irving said. “So we’ll see what’s up.”