Kyrie Irving calls out young Celtics after loss to Magic | News Coverage from USA

Kyrie Irving calls out young Celtics after loss to Magic

Kyrie Irving wasn’t interested in discussing his visible frustration with the Boston Celtics’ final play in a loss to the Orlando Magic. But that didn’t stop him from sounding off on what ails the inconsistent team.

Boston fell 105-103 in Orlando on Saturday night. On the Celtics’ final possession, Irving did not touch the ball, and Jayson Tatum missed a tough baseline jumper at the buzzer that would have tied the game. Irving appeared frustrated with Gordon Hayward, who inbounded the ball on the play.

When asked about his on-court reaction, Irving was terse: “Next question. J.T. got a good look, so let’s move on.”

When he expanded on the Celtics’ overall state, though, Irving had plenty to say. A team that most expected to be one of the league’s best is currently 25-17 and in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. To Irving, the team’s struggles boil down to one thing.

“Experience,” he said. “We’re lacking it, and because of that we have a lot of learning to do.”

Irving later added: “The young guys don’t know what it takes to be a championship level team. What it takes every day. And if they think it is hard now, what do they think it will be like when we’re trying to get to the Finals?”

Boston has had a difficult time maintaining consistency so far this season. After four straight wins at home, the Celtics have lost their last two in Miami and Orlando. An eight-game win streak in late November and early December was followed by three consecutive losses, including one at home to the lowly Phoenix Suns.

“We’re better than most teams in this league,” Irving said. “It’s just going out and proving it every single night and demanding it and actually showing it. So until we do that every single night and realize our depth is a positive, and all the wishes and could-haves and should-have-done-that, once that goes out the window, then we’ll be better. But until then, we’re going to keep having these ups and downs.”

Follow Matt Eppers on Twitter @meppers_.


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