Kyrie Irving Makes Celtics Looks Older Than Ever

Amid all the talks of needing a trade or not, the Boston Celtics had to go through the Kyrie Irving experience. Not fun, not good. Irving exploded with 40 points, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to their second win in three games, something that hasn’t happened in over a month.

Sad as the season is for the Cavs, Kyrie Irving has return from injury looking better than before. The rookie of the year in 2012, Irving looks well on his way to become one of the best point guards in the NBA if not the best very soon. He scored 40 points and added 5 assists while shooting 16-24 from the field, not really troubled by Rajon Rondo or Avery Bradley guarding him.

is the fifth player in the last five seasons to top the 40-point plateau in a game against the Celtics and first to do so in the last two seasons. He’s the only one of those five big-time scorers to leave the game with a victory as well. The previous players were LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Monta Ellis. Usually, when someone goes on such an individual effort against a good defensive teams, it means his teammates didn’t step up while the Celtics didn’t have a lot of problems. These Celtics, the 2013 C’s, aren’t that kind of team.

It’s not like they’re the only team to struggle against Irving this season. He was impossible to stop on isolation plays, including one big basket with 22 seconds left, blowing by Rajon Rondo on his way to one of the key shots in the 95-90 win. Irving is averages the most isolation points per game in the league this season, and is the only player making more than 50% of his shots on such plays. LeBron James, with 48.9% is next on that list.

He has all the numbers to be an All-Star, for sure. Whether he makes it or not is another story. … He’s a tough kid, which I don’t think people give him enough credit for. It’s a hard one for me to pick a guy from a team with 11 wins, but he’s just playing so well. If you look at the point guards in the Eastern Conference, name one that’s having a better season.

Irving scored 11 points in the final 2:33 on four layups and three free throws to give Cleveland back-to-back wins at home for the first time this season. The Boston Celtics? They’ve now lost four in a row, also a first this season.

Kevin Garnett, who scored 16 points and added 5 rebounds and 5 blocks, was frustrated as usual this week. We’ve got to try to figure this thing out because it’s not going to change itself. I want it so bad, but I’ve got to find a balance. I’ve got to do better for 48 minutes, man.

Rajon Rondo taking control and nearly finishing with a triple double (17 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists) isn’t enough. Not when Paul Pierce scores only 12 points on a 3-15 shooting night. Pierce is shooting 31% from the field during the losing streak, while the good play of Jared Sullinger off the bench (12 points, 10 rebounds) can’t make up for key players not playing at the expected level.

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