Kyrie Irving finally has his playoff moment for Celtics – ESPN

Kyrie Irving finally has his playoff moment for Celtics - ESPN
Boston Celtics daily links 4/17/19
CLNS Media Manning: Celtics Beat Pacers but Did Not Flip the Switch Kyrie Irving Talks Adjusting To Playoffs Without Marcus Smart Marcus Smart Addresses Media For First Time Since Injury; Says First Day Without Grimacing Pain Brad Stevens Says Marcus Smart is an inspiring guy to be around Celtics News: Marcus Smart Speaks on Injury, as Boston Prepares for Game 2 vs. Indiana Souza: Celtics Must Channel Spirit of Marcus Smart until Day Smart Returns Winning Plays: Episode 6

NESN NBA Rumors: Celtics Host Three Senior Guards In Pre-NBA Draft Workouts WEEI Marcus Smart talks about his injury (oblique), far from setting a return date CBS Boston Marcus Smart Updates His Painful And Frustrating Recovery From An Oblique Injury Mass Live Celtics vs. Pacers: How the new starting lineup fared, shooting numbers & 13 things to watch in Game 2 Boston Sports Journal Winning Plays Podcast: Looking at Game 2 Adjustments for Celtics/Pacers Marcus Smart staying positive ahead of lengthy recovery from torn oblique

USA Today Brad Stevens: Seeks NBA title with Celtics after Final Four regrets SI .com 2019 NBA Playoffs: The Celtics are finally where they want to be Tufts Daily Anti-Bostonian: The Celtics Game 1 win is a mirage The Ringer Kyrie Irving and the Celtics Seek Their Highest Level Cavs Nation Cavs news: Brian Windhorst says Kyrie Irving was angry after winning 2016 title

BOSTON — The Boston Celtics are looking to take a two-nothing lead over the Indiana Pacers in Game 2 of their opening round playoff series. Game 1 was a throwback to the old days of beat em up basketball where points were at a premium and the team with the strongest will came out on top.

Well, great. Sure, that play looked uglier than it was probably designed because of Wesley Matthewss terrible shot, but it was a play that was contingent on Bogdanovic being about 15 feet away from the three point line as a reset point. As if to add insult to injury, Bogdanovics slow rotation off a pick helped Jayson Tatum get open enough to set up that play to Hayward.

Scoring 84 point will not win a team many games. Holding the Pacers to 74 points was impressive, but its also an anomaly. They hadnt scored fewer than 89 all season, and even with playoff basketball being what it is, its prudent not to expect that to happen again.

There were a lot of adjustments on their end, Brad Stevens said of the Pacers defense. They switched a lot more than they normally do.

An all-too familiar second half collapse puts Pacers in 0-2 hole against Celtics

Switching defense is a gamble with certain players on the floor. In last years Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron did everything he could to switch onto Terry Rozier and attack that mismatch. The instant Indiana starts switching, the Celtics can find a target and exploit it.

Its entirely possible that, like Davis, Irving did not choose this T-shirt specifically for this particular day, this particular game. Given how weve gotten here, though, it seems more likely the shirt was chosen for a reason. Reporters asked Jayson Tatum about nerves, and the 21-year-old relayed that Kyrie had confessed to feeling them pregame. What—Kyrie, nervous? The Finals Game 7 dagger thrower, the mysterious muser, the trade requester, the own-team wanter feeling butterflies before a first-round matchup with the Indiana Pacers?

Its Way to Early to Count Out the Indiana Pacers vs the Boston Celtics

One way we saw that happen in Game 1 was Gordon Hayward hunting the smaller Darren Collison (Hayward is 6′8″, Collison is 6 feet even).

The Pacers have to respect Marcus Morris in the left corner and Kyrie Irving on the left wing. When Hayward sets the pick on the switching Collison, the ball is swung up to Al Horford instead of Tatum dumping it in because Horford having the ball there (a) is a threat to score and (b) is a threat to pass to Irving or Morris, so those guys have to stay close to their assignments.

Hayward uses his size and strength advantage to pack Collison down to the rim. From there, the pass is easy, and Hayward is deep enough where thats automatic. If someone from the other side of the floor makes a run over to help, that guys man, Morris or Irving, will get the ball for an open 3.

Celtics forward Al Horford is questionable for Game 2 of the opening-round playoff series against the Pacers Wednesday night at TD Garden because of an illness.

This isnt some genius-level play that will get Brad Stevens into the Hall of Fame for basketball wizardry. The beauty of this is its simplicity.

Celtics, Rockets, and Bucks eye 2-0 series leads

When people talk about ways Hayward helps his team, they never really talk about his size, but he can be a significant advantage against a team with smaller guards. Cory Joseph is 6′3″. Wesley Matthews is 6′5″. Even Tyreke Evans gives up a couple of inches at 6′6″. The Pacers know the Celtics are attacking these mismatches, and its up to them to decide if they want to continue.

Were the ones that are switching, Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. We know that sometimes take advantage of that and we have to have the proper coverage to defend that if they are trying to take advantage of a matchup, whether thats on the perimeter or the post.

From here, the series will shift back to Indianapolis for Games 3 & 4, beginning Friday. Indiana has shown through two games that theyre capable of extending this series, but it will come down to their execution, which hasnt been there through some very key stretches thus far. The Pacers, now 5-15 on the road without Oladipo, can hope to find some of that much needed execution by simply returning home, where theyre 12-6.

Celtics vs. Pacers Game 2 Betting Preview: Can Indiana Hang With Kyrie & Co?

The Celtics can find easy ways to score by using simple plays like this to take advantage of Haywards height and skill if the Pacers continue to try switching on defense.

Share Share Big 4th Quarter Paces Celtics Past Indiana, 99-91 tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports The dual threat of Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum scored 19 fourth quarter points to give the Boston Celtics a 99-91 victory over the Indiana Pacers. The Celtics took a 2-0 series lead behind an incredible, monstrous and efficient game from Irving who had 37 points in just 26 shots. The late game hero, however, was Tatum who turned the clock back to 2018 with a nifty 26-4-3 line and big time heroics. The sophomore loomed large for the Celtics in the critical moments of the game, with a huge three and an assist to push the lead to three with 12 seconds left

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