So, who is going to be the first guy out the door? We are joking, of course. The Celtics are not going to ship out anybody as a knee-jerk reaction for a four-game losing streak, even if coach Doc Rivers did threaten moves just a few days ago if his players did not adjust their attitudes quickly. But anyone hoping for a reactionary move by Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge got more ammunition for their argument when the Celtics came out and got toasted by Kyrie Irving on Tuesday. Irving, who sent the Celtics packing with a twisting, last-second, game-winning layup in Cleveland last season, did not need to repeat that feat this time. The second-year guard dropped 40 points, one off his career high, becoming the second guard this season to go off for at least 40 against the Celtics this season. And he managed to sew it all up with a healthy 22 seconds left on the clock. Yet while Irving's scoring showed up in bold-faced type, that alone was not why Boston lost. After all, the Celtics held Irving to only six points between his 19-point first quarter and his 15-point fourth quarter. But even when he did not score, Irving was able to dribble into the lane at will to open up opportunities for Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller and Luke Walton, contributing directly to Cleveland's 18-point scoring advantage in the paint. One of the overlooked aspects of the Celtics' six-game winning streak, which now seems like so long ago, was that they largely avoided point guards with the ability to slash and distribute. D.J. Augustin and Jason Kidd are mostly stationary targets, Jeff Teague and the Hawks were playing for the second straight night, Goran Dragic is an inconsistent distributor and Jeremy Lin's issues are well-documented. The one guy who brought some elements of dynamism, Charlotte's Kemba Walker, had an off night in Boston, so the Celtics dodged a bullet against the one point guard in that stretch who may have given them trouble. Irving has none of those flaws, and he definitely did not have an off night on Tuesday. In the last month, the Celtics have been victimized by Monta Ellis, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Isaiah Thomas and now Irving. The first four of those came before Avery Bradley's return, so there was a built-in rationalization, if not an excuse. Now there is no excuse.
Read more at: http://nesn.com/2013/01/kyrie-irving-goes-off-as-celtics-fail-to-respond-to-coach-doc-rivers-challenge/
Kyrie Irving Goes Off as Celtics Fail to Respond to Coach Doc Rivers' Challenge
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