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Kyrie Irving talks Celtics struggles, wants teammates to be 'basketball savants'

Kyrie Irving talks Celtics struggles, wants teammates to be 'basketball savants'
Published On: Wed, Oct 10
Jun 22, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving celebrates with fans during the NBA championship parade in downtown Cleveland. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The question posed to Kyrie Irving didna€™t even ask about the Boston Celticsa€™ preseason struggles but, like an All-Star point guard whoa€™s typically a couple steps ahead, Irving knew where the conversation was going when he was asked Tuesday morning about Bostona€™s competitive training camp practices.

And then Irving unloaded.

"I dona€™t have an answer. Like, I wish I had an answer for why we cana€™t translate how hard we play for practice for the last week or so into games and have the same structure of what wea€™re working on,a€ said Irving, jumping directly to the question that most Celtics fans have been asking in the aftermath of Bostona€™s extremely underwhelming preseason showing.

a€œ[Coach] Brad [Stevens] is doing a great job of teaching us and just putting in sets and putting in structure for us to follow. Now, ita€™s up to us as players to make that conscious choice to do it, at a very high level, consistently. Wea€™re asking a lot of our players to be like basketball savants now, rather than just basketball players. Like just going out there, you have nothing to lose, nothing to worry about, just got out there and play -- wea€™re not that team any more.A 

"We have to be a lot smarter, we have to be a lot more diligent in what wea€™re doing out there, a lot more communicative. And ita€™s going to take some time for us to figure that out because we dona€™t have 1-2-3-4-5 set in stone. Like 2, 3, and 4 is like up in the air for us so you can see that our wings are having somewhat of a struggle just figuring out, a€˜OK, who is the 4, who is the 3 here?a€™ Which is normal. It takes a lot more thinking of the game, it takes a lot more film watching, a lot more of us being together and talking about what we want as a group rather than Brad telling us like this is what we want to do. Hea€™s leaving it up to us. I appreciate that.a€

Maybe recognizing he dumped an awful lot out in his response, Irving paused briefly to catch his breath, then acknowledged as much.

Read the complete news article here...

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