The one bright spot was Kyrie Irving. After going through some struggles of his own to start the season, Irving finally looked like the offensive dynamo Boston traded for over a year ago. He finished with 39 points, 26 of which came in the final two quarters and overtime.
Terry Rozier not complaining about reduced Celtics role amid trade links
Kyrie Irving pours in 39 PTS to fuel the @celtics 22-point comeback! #CUsRise pic.twitter.com/4cKOSnDmPr
Aside from Jaylen Browns 14 points in the second half, the rest of Bostons core was brutal. Al Horford had seven points on seven shots. Gordon Hayward had eight points on eight shots. Jayson Tatum finished with four points and scored his first bucket of the night with 5:30 left in the fourth quarter. The sophomores other two points came via garbage-time free throws. It was as though the rookie wall Tatum evaded most of last season only to finally come down on him all at once. By the end of the game, Tatum was relegated to setting screens for Irving like he was Aron Baynes.
How Kyrie and the Celtics stormed back from a 22-point deficit to win in OT
With Hayward and Irving healthy and Brown and Tatum another year wiser, the Celtics were supposed to have so much talent that they could simply turn to the best player on a given night if the game got tight. Its a strategy thats worked for the Warriors (Thursday nights 23-point blowout at the hands of the Bucks notwithstanding). But so far, the Celtics look a lot like the team that reeled off 16 straight wins early last season: They will go as far as Kyrie takes them.
Video: Celtics Rally All The Back From A 22 POINT DEFICIT And Win A Thriller In OT | November 8, 2018
When Boston needed a 3 to tie the game with 6.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Celtics got the ball into Kyries hands. But it wasnt Irvings shot that forced overtime. The Celtics drew a crowd of defenders outside of the 3-point arc, and so he dished it off to Marcus Morris for a wide-open 3:
Irving told Celtics fans at a season-ticket holder event in September he plans to re-sign, but he has requested reporters not ask about contract details so the Celtics dont get in trouble with the league.
Boston Celtics Kyrie Irving appreciates being connected to an incredible, incredible culture
“Its good to know that weve got some of that stuff we [had] last year in that locker room, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.
Of all the Celtics struggling to adjust to the teams new reality, Stevens may be the most jarring. Just a year ago, he was the wunderkind coach with the magic dry-erase board. But maximizing talent is different than managing a team of stars. Stevens has already proved he can make a contender out of spare parts, but what can he make of a team with some of the best the league has to offer?
Danny Ainge: No Teams Have Called Celtics Amid Terry Rozier Trade Rumors
The Celtics have time to figure things out. Its only November, and theyre going to keep preaching patience. But while Irvings individual brilliance bailed them out on Thursday, they cant rely on that every night—not against the types of teams theyll need to beat to go farther than they did last postseason. Even talent has its limits.
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Video: Terry Rozier, Danny Ainge Counter Claims of Playing-Time Strife | Boston Celtics Visit Phoenix…
Even though most predictive programs give Green Bay less than a 25 percent chance at seeing the postseason this year, R-E-L-A-X season has returned and the rest of the NFC shouldnt count out Aaron Rodgers
In a sitdown with Shams Charania of The Athletic, All-Star Kyrie Irving discussed leaving Cleveland for Boston during the summer of 2017:
“The texture of Jabba is something I need to discover,” the actor has said in the past, and now that his character, Cassian Andor, is getting his own streaming series, opportunity abounds
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Philadelphia has one of the best rosters in football. Washington may have the inside track to win the division.
The Cowboys dont appear to have a plan to make a playoff push. Weve got an eye on the NFC East in Week 10, as well as the Los Angeles Rams on the rebound.
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One day after a report trickled through Twitter that Rozier was frustrated with his playing time and the Celtics would need to deal him, Rozier said he would have talked to Danny Ainge himself if he had issues with his minutes — an opinion Ainge expressed Thursday morning on the radio as well.
Celtics Terry Rozier on reduced role: Im not complaining
“What Danny said makes sense because he knows me,” Rozier said. “If you dont know me, then you probably think Id say something like that. I woke up to the news just like you woke up to the news. I dont know where it came from, but like I said, Im happy to be in this position where Im at, to be playing on a team thats mentioned to have a chance to be in the championship, so Im not really worried whats being said. But Danny knows. And thats why he said what he said.”
Unexpected early-season Celts subplot: Terry Rozier (restricted FA next summer) has been unhappy w/ his PT all season, word has gotten around the league, and everyone now knows the Celtics need to trade him… which, of course, makes it harder to trade him.
Celtics playoff sensation now wants out of Boston
After Simmons tweet, Shams Charania of the Athletic included a note about seven teams watching Roziers status.
“Thats how it should be,” Rozier said. “There should be more. Im blessed to be putting on this uniform, representing this organization every day, so I have no complaints. At all.”
Terry Rozier Insists He Has No Complaints About His Playing Time In Boston
Brad Stevens acknowledged the adjustment going from starter to the bench hasnt been easy for Rozier, which is to be expected.
“Obviously, Terry was a big discussion point yesterday and Terrys been nothing but a great teammate here,” Stevens said. “Hes been nothing but a great guy here. Hes never said a word to me. You know that hes struggling not from saying something but just from not seeing the ball go in as much. But he just keeps on being him. Thats what we love about him. You wouldnt expect anyone thats as ambitious or as accomplished as him to feel any differently than that. And so at the end of the day its on us to help him play better.”
Rozier suggested some of his recent struggles have been a result of pressing — looking to create looks instead of playing within the flow of the game.
Report: At least 7 teams waiting to see if Celtics make this player available
“I feel like I was doing that a little bit,” Rozier said. “I wasnt saying so much minutes, but just when you try to watch a lot of film, you try to find out where you can be aggressive, where you can be effective on this good team, and its tough, but like I said, all that doesnt match if my mind is tangled up with things, if Im pressing it would be tough to play. So I mean it makes sense, so like I said, free mind, everything is good.”
“Thats one of the great things about Terry,” Stevens said. “Hes competitive, hes tough, he wants to impact the game, and sometimes when youre playing less you figure the best way to do that is be ultra-aggressive right out of the gate instead of letting the game and the easy play come to you. Thats something thats hard to adjust to and I think anybody would be struggling to adjust to. So Im not surprised at all that thats part of it and also one of the reasons why Im not gonna stop playing him the way hes playing. Hell get through this and hell be great, because of who he is.”
Boston Celtics 116, Phoenix Suns 109: Kyrie Irving & Marcus Morris were heroes late, plus 10 things we learned
Rozier made it clear, though: While coming off the bench is harder than starting, and while the adjustment hasnt always been easy, he isnt complaining, and he certainly isnt going to do it through reporters.
Video: 147: Angry Kyrie, Celtics Trip + Rozier Trade Rumors
Danny Ainge Shoots Down Terry Rozier Rumors
“I would never go to the media or bring out the unhappy thing, I would never do that,” Rozier said. “Like I said, people who know me know I wouldnt do that. Ive never been a selfish type of person, selfish player. You can tell the way I play Im all about team, we, everything. Everything will be alright. Its not as bad as people make it seem.”