Irving yes or Irving no? The Celtics' dilemma

Rozier's words about his partner have reopened the debate; We analyze if Boston has played better with the base and how its presence has affected the rest of the team.


It's not been the best season for the Celtics. The Boston team has been stuck in rumors and lack of chemistry all year and could not react in the playoffs, where it was practically overwhelmed by the Milwaukee Bucks. It was the confirmation of a catastrophe, of the worst months that Stevens project has lived, a project that had been postulated in recent years as a candidate for the ring but has now taken a blow that will force the franchise to reflect .

Since the franchise was eliminated, the reactions have not stopped happening. While Jayle Brown said that "we were not prepared for so much circus", Marcus Smart could not find explanations to what happened. Terry Rozier was the last to speak, and his statements have caused controversy. "I sacrificed my talent playing with Irving," said base , who added that "the ball was in the hands of Kyrie or Gordon (Hayward) most of the time." So Terry Rozier could only be in the corner or on the bench. "

The young player, who left the door open for a possible departure of the team in summer, clearly pointed to Irving and hinted that the star was to blame for having reduced their minutes and their averages during this season. He has not been the only one: experts, journalists and players have also pointed to the champion in 2016 as one of those responsible for the debacle of the Celtics. Without him, the franchise was one step away from the NBA Finals last year. With him, they have lost in Conference semifinals. And clearly.

This is Boston's dilemma. Regardless of what the player does, which will be a free agent from July 1, the franchise can offer the maximum to continue with them ... or not. If we analyze well what the star has given the team, it is possible that the Celtics are not interested in keeping him in their ranks, and that their hypothetical march ends up being more positive than negative for them. That's the question, Irving yes or Irving no?

Let's analyze what happened. In 2017, without the base in the team, the Bostonians arrived for the first time to the Eastern finals since 2012. Last year the star arrived, but he was injured after playing 60 games. Those of Stevens achieved a record of 55-27, the record with his current coach. With Kyrie on track they stayed at 41-19 (68% of wins). Without him 14-8 (63%) . The Celtics set an incredible playoffs against all odds and were one step away from the Finals. In the final phase they won 11 wins by 8 defeats, but they were intractable at home. 10-1 at the Garden, where they could only beat LeBron.

While last season the team's performance did not vary too much with and without the base, this season the numbers have highlighted that the Stevens system changes when Kyrie is on track ... and that hurts the team. 49-33 in April, the worst balance since three years ago and with the healthy star. Irving has played 67 matches with a record of 37-30 (55% winning percentage). When sitting on the bench, either for rest or injuries, the team has gone to 12-3 (80%) . In the playoffs the first of Irving with the Boston shirt, the record was 5-4, losing in the Garden two games in a row for the first time in two years and remaining the team without the conference finals that had reached the last two seasons .

In total and in the two years that the player has been in Boston, he has played 136 games (127 in the regular season and 9 in the playoffs) and has won 83, losing 53. Just 61% of wins. Without him on track, the team has played 56 duels adding the regular season and qualifying for the title. The Celtics have won 37 duels and have fallen by 19. 66% wins. More than with Irving on court.

Players do not improve next to base

More. Another thing that has been put in evidence is that the template of the Celtics worse with the base on track, like the players. If we compare this season with the previous one, we see that the companions of the star get worse when he is healthy. As Rozier said, the ball goes through Irving's hands a lot, and the collaborative game that Stevens feels most comfortable with can not develop. This has hurt the rest of the members of the green team, who have seen their numbers down with the base.

Independently of the two regular seasons that Kyrie has played, where he has played more or less the same games (60 and 67), the playoffs have shown that the former Cavs' teammates get worse with him. Rozier, one of the most affected, has gone from averaging 17 points per game in the playoffs by theIn 2018, he made only 6 this year, and with horrible shooting percentages. The same goes for Tatum (from 19 to 15), with Jaylen Brown (from 18 to 14) or with Baynes (from 6 to 2 playing half of the minutes). The only one that has remained in their numbers has been Horford (14 + 9 in this final phase), while only Marcus Morris has slightly improved his performance (14 + 8) .

It can be seen that the players who need the ball the most They are the ones who have lowered their numbers the most. Rozier in particular, one of the hardest hit by sharing position on court with Kyrie, amounts to 13 points per game when he is not (has averaged 9 in regular season). Tatum, which is not directly harmed by the presence of Irving as Rozier is, is more effective without the track base and goes almost to 19 points per game (15.7 throughout the year) . Brown also raises his numbers (from 13 to 15).

And more. It is possible that the group plays better or worse without the base, but the data and statistics are not. In the 15 games that Irving has not played in the current campaign (remember that the Celtics have won 12 of those games), the team has improved its overall numbers. During the year, 112.4 points were recorded and 108 received. Without Irving, they slightly increase their score (112.8) and leave their opponents in fewer points (105.2). A new fact that does not leave very well to the All Star.

Last year there were doubts about whether the absence of the base benefited or hurt the team. People remembered the last duel against the Cavs, in which they were eliminated. In that game, a tremendous punch in attack of the young players of the Celtics put in evidence the need for a man for the time clutch. From a closer. From Irving. But to get to that moment you have to survive the rest of the game. And against the Bucks have suffered almost beating after beating.

The reputation of the star hangs by a thread. He has not handled well with the press or (apparently) with the costumes, and for the moment he has not managed to assume his role as the first sword. It was not long ago that Irving could not lead a franchise candidate for the ring. That his place was as the lieutenant of a great player, as he did in the LeBron Cavs. We do not know anything about his future, but what we do know is that the base, for the time being, has not proved otherwise.



Photos from as.com

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