Boston Celtics counting on Kyrie Irving to buy in to Brad Stevens' system

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Boston Celtics counting on Kyrie Irving to buy in to Brad Stevens' system

Post by bobheckler on Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:37 pm

http://www.masslive.com/celtics/index.ssf/2017/09/boston_celtics_counting_on_kyr.html



Boston Celtics counting on Kyrie Irving to buy in to Brad Stevens' system


Updated on September 2, 2017 at 9:14 AM Posted on September 2, 2017 at 8:43 AM

Gallery: Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward introduced as Boston Celtics



By Tom Westerholm



BOSTON -- The banter started midway through the Boston Celtics' press conference on Friday.

Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (which is still a strange phrase to type) was asked what he's most looking forward to about playing for Stevens. Irving started to launch into an easy answer.

"To be honest," he said, "I've only had the unique opportunity of playing against Coach Stevens over the last few seasons."

Stevens leaned forward.

"I coached you in a game where we gave up 197 points."

Stevens was referencing last year's All-Star game. Irving hung his head in mock shame, pausing for comic effect.

"It all goes back to playing both ends of the floor, coach," he said, and the packed media room laughed as Stevens sat back with a smile.




The Celtics will presumably be watching that dynamic with great interest. If they gambled in trading for Irving -- and it certainly seems like they did, at least to an extent -- the odds are significantly improved by the man who gently needled Irving (a notoriously poor defender) for his defense 10 minutes into their first public appearance together.

Stevens was joking of course, but the Celtics are hoping and expecting to see growth from Irving. He is undeniably talented offensively -- a one-on-one threat with a dizzying bag of dribbling tricks, finishes and a deadly accurate 3-pont shot -- but the Celtics didn't give up the franchise's heart, best contract and best trade asset (and also Ante Zizic) for the mostly one-dimensional scorer that spent the first six years of his career in Cleveland. They are pursuing a superstar. They believe Irving can be that star.


To unlock that star, the Celtics will need Stevens -- the same coach who helped put Evan Turner in a position to make $72 million in Portland, and helped Jordan Crawford earn Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors before that. Every player in the NBA is otherworldly talented. Stevens seems preternaturally gifted at finding each player's talent and emphasizing it.

"Scheme-wise, it's a pretty equitable offense in terms of what everyone's skillset is out on the floor," Irving said. "I picked that out in about two minutes that we were out in the game by the way they were running their plays. They were always two, three steps -- or let me give him credit: Four steps ahead -- because it's a constant wave in the game, an interchange. It could go up and it could go down. To understand those frequencies and understand how you exist and all that and get the maximum potential out of who you have on the floor, I mean, that's Coach Stevens. ... The appreciation I have for (Stevens') knowledge of the game, I just can't wait to steal some stuff and honestly learn and grow with a guy like that as well as the other coaches that he has that I can't wait to meet. It's an exciting time to have an outstanding coach like that."


Now the Celtics have placed perhaps Stevens' biggest opportunity in front of him. Turner was let go after he played himself into free agency value well beyond what the Celtics were willing to pay. Crawford was traded for a second-round pick during the Celtics' rebuild. But Irving isn't going anywhere -- the Celtics have committed to a path, and he is the team's point guard of the future.

Irving is also the most singularly gifted offensive talent Stevens has worked with by a pretty wide margin. Stevens, presumably, will use him similarly to the way he used Isaiah Thomas -- running dribble-hand off pick-and-rolls with Al Horford and Gordon Hayward, probing and looking to score off the dribble around the rim, and launching threes out of the top of the pick-and-roll when defenders try to go under. Irving, a career 38.3 percent 3-point shooter, took just 3.6 triples per game last season. Expect that number to spike sharply.

But to truly maximize Irving's potential, the Celtics will need him to play differently. They will need fewer isolation sets and more assists. They will need an emphasis on catch-and-shoot threes, as opposed to contested twos off the dribble. They will need him to be a better defender -- if not a plus, at least not a visible detriment. They will need him to have a positive, uplifting effect on his teammates -- including (and perhaps especially) Hayward, who is also a genuine star.


There's reason to believe Irving can get there. He's only 25, and after LeBron James arrived in 2014, he was never truly handed the keys to Cleveland's offense (which was as it should be: If you employ LeBron James, he gets the keys, no questions asked). But that will be the big test for both player and coach: Stevens will need to put Irving in a position to become a superstar. Irving will need to buy in and run with it.

Until we see the product on the court, everything is guesswork, but for the Celtics, Irving's answers on Friday were an encouraging step in the right direction.

"I can't wait to get on the floor and maximize my potential," Irving said. "I just want to be around those incredible coaches and those incredible minds and those incredible individuals, and I feel like in doing that, Boston came right at the exact time, and it was meant to be that way. I trust in that, and I'm glad to be here."




bob



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Re: Boston Celtics counting on Kyrie Irving to buy in to Brad Stevens' system

Post by wideclyde on Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:00 pm

I fully believe that Irving is going to fit quite well into the Cs systems. He may even play a little more defense for Boston than he did for Cleveland.

But, the biggest thing I got from this article was the fact that Irving openly admitted that he has noticed so many of the good things that Stevens and his staff have been doing since arriving in the NBA.

I am sure that many other guys have seen the same things relating to Coach Stevens and at some time, there will be guys willing to come to Boston for less money to play for Stevens.

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Re: Boston Celtics counting on Kyrie Irving to buy in to Brad Stevens' system

Post by worcester on Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:43 pm

Kyrie has only had one good coach since turning 18, actually a great one - Coach K. Since then his coaching has pretty much sucked.Six straight years without great coaching to maximize his potential. Methinks he'll make a big leap this season.
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Re: Boston Celtics counting on Kyrie Irving to buy in to Brad Stevens' system

Post by NYCelt on Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:22 pm

worcester wrote:Kyrie has only had one good coach since turning 18, actually a great one - Coach K. Since then his coaching has pretty much sucked.Six straight years without great coaching to maximize his potential. Methinks he'll make a big leap this season.

W -

Since Irving's game has been the opposite of what we are trying to play, my fingers are crossed that this is the case. Although Stevens is a far less vocal leader then Coach K, I think he's also fairly strong willed in his approach. Irving could have the skills to change his past style of play, and for Boston to succeed he needs to. I'm sure Stevens will make the conversion job 1.

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Re: Boston Celtics counting on Kyrie Irving to buy in to Brad Stevens' system

Post by Berlin-T on Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:32 pm

I just hope we haven't traded for another Rondo-type headcase.

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Re: Boston Celtics counting on Kyrie Irving to buy in to Brad Stevens' system

Post by dboss on Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:05 pm

No one should expect a rigid system that simply sticks Kyrie in a slot.

He is a very good basketball players.  In many respects he is not dissimilar from Thomas as neither one of them are pass first point guards.

However I think Kyrie will find it easier to score in Brad's offense and will fit right in.

Having said that, when you need a bucket Kyrie and Hayward can go get it for you.  Isolation one on one basketball is the reason Danny traded for him.   Danny needed an ultimate go to guy.  Kyrie is that guy that Danny has been wanting since the rebuild began. I think Brad will find a way to maximize Kyrie and Hayward's talent.  

I am not a bit concerned about him being a good fit because he wants to fit in.  This is his chance to be an even better basketball player.

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Re: Boston Celtics counting on Kyrie Irving to buy in to Brad Stevens' system

Post by fierce on Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:29 pm

Definitely Kyrie wants to fit in.

If Kyrie was hesitant about joining the Celtics then he would not have waived his trade kicker.

Waiving his trade kicker was a show of good faith from Kyrie.
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Re: Boston Celtics counting on Kyrie Irving to buy in to Brad Stevens' system

Post by bobheckler on Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:02 pm

Celtic-for-Life Paul Pierce weighs in:




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Re: Boston Celtics counting on Kyrie Irving to buy in to Brad Stevens' system

Post by willjr on Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:01 pm

This may have no bearing at all...or then again it may. Coming out of high school as the number one ranked player, even with the prospect of him being a one and done, he picked Coach K and Duke. That is the most regimented and structured, system oriented team in the country. Kyrie chose that over a more free wheeling, showcase your ability, get in and get out type of program. That tells me that he WANTS to be coached and is open to be taught and pushed to be the best he can be. We obviously won't know until we see, but I am not overly worried about Kyrie adapting and/fitting in to Brad's system or Brad incorporating Kyrie's offensive strengths into to his scheme.
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Re: Boston Celtics counting on Kyrie Irving to buy in to Brad Stevens' system

Post by BleedGreen on Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:56 pm

fierce wrote:Definitely Kyrie wants to fit in.

If Kyrie was hesitant about joining the Celtics then he would not have waived his trade kicker.

Waiving his trade kicker was a show of good faith from Kyrie.

It was also required to make the cash work and not force the Celtics to give up even more.
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Re: Boston Celtics counting on Kyrie Irving to buy in to Brad Stevens' system

Post by k_j_88 on Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:23 pm

Are people actually more concerned about Irving's defensive deficiencies than they were about Thomas'?

If anything, his size is an advantage over Thomas, even if he isn't a particularly great defender.


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Re: Boston Celtics counting on Kyrie Irving to buy in to Brad Stevens' system

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