Kyrie Irving begins his Celtics conquest in his new home

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Kyrie Irving begins his Celtics conquest in his new home

Post by bobheckler on Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:38 am

Kyrie Irving begins his Celtics conquest in his new home

By: Jared Weiss | 4 hours ago

This isn’t his first time inside the castle, but it was the initial survey of his new domain. Now, Kyrie Irving has his own kingdom to rule in Boston, away from his perceived external limitations of the past. Monday evening was his first chance to perform in his environment conducive to growth.

It was the moment he spent years waiting for, finally in the driver’s seat in a locker room devoid of the blinding glare of someone else’s limelight. There sat Irving, fresh off a 94-82 victory, curled up in his locker chuckling at a small face on his phone. On the other end was his 2-year-old daughter Azurie, taking in a FaceTime tour of his new office. As Irving showed his daughter her name scrawled on his shoes, he had finally settled into a semblance of control over his destiny that he had yearned for and snatched with audacity this summer.

“You know what it felt like, it was just so wide out there,” Irving said after Monday’s win over the Charlotte Hornets. “I don’t know if you even understand what I’m saying, like when we start off the game, like my eyes were just wide. And the basket was a little bit smaller and things were just a lot bigger than what they are. And that’s just literally not playing basketball on an NBA floor for a few months. So I was taking in all that newness before I could even get so nervous and anxious. I know that will come when we play the Bucks. As you can see, I’m ready for that.”

The satisfaction came from the process working itself out in a condensed sample in the first half. Brad Stevens came into the evening knowing he would only play Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford for the first half. They had just a few lineup rotations to make this thing work. With only four preseason games, each stint is increasingly valuable as a test run for the real thing just two weeks away. Irving has more at stake than anyone, as he will walk back into the Q on opening night to face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving will want – or need – to prove his decision right. The Celtics are preaching patience as they jell, but there’s a bright-line goal in the near future.

“As we’ve kind of grown together real briefly over the last seven days, (we) have shown a lot of desire to work together, play together, play hard together,” Stevens said. ”Defensively especially, we have a lot to build off of. Offensively we have to get a lot better.”

The offense started to figure itself out over the course of the first quarter. The opening minutes were marked by clogged spacing, short passes, and late shots. It was clear that there was a plan in the works, but the pieces were not quite moving in cohesion.

Then Irving and Horford connected on a give-and-go that completely blindsided the stout Hornets defense. Kemba Walker was coughing up dust, while Nic Batum was looking back to see Kyrie throwing down just his third dunk in the last year. Irving was getting a taste of that special sauce Horford brings to unlock the potential of the guards around him.
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To the rack!

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