The Boston Celtics are already locked into the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs and will take on the Indiana Pacers this coming weekend.
For star guard Kyrie Irving and the Celtics, these past few months have not gone swimmingly. Boston heads into the postseason having posted a 14-14 record over the past 28 games.
The backdrop here has been some Irving-led drama and the possibility that he departs Boston in free agency this coming summer.
In talking about that and a whole lot more on Wednesday, Irving seemed to look in the mirror.
“A lot of just up and downs that could have been handled better from a professional standpoint” Irving told reporters. “I’m talking about me personally, I’m not talking about our team. I had a lot of questions, a lot of things that weren’t being answered straight up.”
Boston entered this season as odds-on favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference. Injuries coupled with internal strife led to a surprisingly low 49 regular-season wins.
For Irving, the hope is that these playoffs act as a new beginning for Boston.
“Stats go out the window. Everything else in terms of what’s transpired during the regular season goes out the window,” Irving said about the playoffs. “Everything is about the true essence of basketball. Nothing else about the drama.”
Indeed, Boston has a tough road ahead of itself. It’s also among the most-talented teams in the Eastern Conference. Whether that translates to a deep playoff run and Irving’s eventual return to the Celtics remains to be seen.
At the very least, the NBA champion is out here pointing the finger at himself. Not a bad idea heading into the postseason.