Celtics

Irving already walking around on surgically repaired left knee

Irving already walking around on surgically repaired left knee

BOSTON – Kyrie Irving, a little more than a week removed from having screws removed from his surgically repaired left knee was walking around, a sight that caught many off guard – head coach Brad Stevens included.

“I’m like you, the first time I saw him, when I saw him the other day he was walking around,” Stevens said during a conference call on Monday. “I was surprised too.”

While Irving’s timetable remains steady that he’ll be out for at least four months, seeing him around his teammates and coaching staff during Boston’s 113-107 Game 1 win over Milwaukee, was indeed an encouraging sign.

Prior to his Monday afternoon call, Stevens had talked with the training staff as well as those familiar with those on staff who are working with Irving.

“They feel great about his (progress),” Stevens said. “That’s encouraging. Again, he’s going to make a full recovery. Now that the screws are out we can see his early progress. It’s very good.”

On March 24, the Celtics had initially removed a tension wire inserted in Irving’s left knee after he suffered a fractured left kneecap in 2015. It was supposed to keep him sidelined for 3-6 weeks.

But after removing the tension wire, there was concern that there might be an infection in the knee which is why they went back in on April 7 to remove the screws from the 2015 surgery which ended Irving’s season.

Catching the infection before it became an issue was important, as was the two procedures re-affirming that the knee is structurally sound.

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Breakfast Pod: Bruins and Celtics come away with big playoff victories

Breakfast Pod: Bruins and Celtics come away with big playoff victories

A Game 2 victory for the Celtics over the Pacers sends Boston to Indy up, 2-0; a Game 4 win for the Bruins in Toronto sends them home with their series tied at 2.

1:10:  Kyle Draper and Brian Scalabrine break down the Celtics huge 4th quarter in their 99-91 win over the Pacers in Game 2 and we hear from Jayson Tatum after the game.

6:41: Then we have the Bruins, who took a pivotal Game 4 up in Toronto, 6-4. Michael Felger and Tony Amonte discuss David Pastrnak’s two-goal performance and what else contributed to the win.

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Kyrie Irving: 'There’s nothing like' playoff basketball in Boston

Kyrie Irving: 'There’s nothing like' playoff basketball in Boston

BOSTON — Back in February, after an embarrassing loss in Chicago, Kyrie Irving suggested the Celtics would be just fine in the playoffs. Asked for a reason, he replied, “Because I’m here.”

It seemed potentially overconfident in the moment but nights like Wednesday's Game 2 victory over the Indiana Pacers suggest, maybe just maybe, Irving was on to something.

Irving scored a game-high 37 points while connecting on 15 of 26 shots in Boston’s 99-91 triumph at TD Garden. The Celtics lead the best-of-seven series 2-0 as it shifts to Indiana for Game 3 Friday and Game 4 Sunday. 

Maybe the most astounding part of Irving’s night: He attempted only two free throws (limiting his “MVP!” chants to one session). Irving connected on six of the 10 3-pointers he hoisted overall.

It was a dazzling offensive display replete with some big-time shot-making. While the Celtics needed multiple players on their roster to step up during Wednesday’s rally from a fourth-quarter, double-digit deficit — and Terry Rozier provided a big boost, particularly early in the fourth quarter while Irving got a breather — Irving repeatedly came up with must-have baskets in a game where Irving accounted for 37.5 percent of his team’s total field goals.

Irving is no stranger to big games in Boston, alas most in the playoffs came as a member of the Cavaliers. So what's it like now, a year after missing the postseason due to a pair of knee surgeries, for Irving to be starring in a Celtics uniform?

“It’s pretty peaceful,” said Irving. "I’m just happy to be able to be part of a lineage of great players that have put on some unbelievable performances here in the TD as well as in the old Garden. 

"It’s really special to know that the fans here, they’re rooting us on and they want everything to be perfect. It’s just not the reality of the game, but we do our best to go out there and really lay it all out on the line. We throw ourselves into the game and we hope for some great results. So we’ve just gotta have some just honest resolve. But it felt good to be here in this position, playing in this arena.”

While Irving’s mood this season has often hinged on the play of the team, it’s clear he’s enjoying the early stages of Boston’s postseason stay. For all the frustrations of the regular season, Irving’s wait-for-the-playoffs proclamation looks a bit prescient at the moment.

"It’s just been a long journey, having those two knee surgeries and watching the team last year,” said Irving. "And finally getting a chance to lace ‘em up for the Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs, there’s nothing like it.”

When Irving is cooking like he was on Wednesday night, his teammates know to feed the hot hand.

"Just sit back and watch,” said Jaylen Brown. "Kyrie has the ability to take over games, that’s what makes him special.”

As backup point guard Terry Rozier noted, Boston’s game plan was pretty simple with Irving clicking. Said Rozier: “We let Kyrie be Kyrie.”

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