Ah Boston, what happened?
The blockbuster trade for Kyrie Irving prior to the 2017 bought a new swagger to the Boston Celtics, who had also acquired Gordon Hayward via free agency. That new swagger was placed on hold after the first game of the 2017-2018 season when Hayward went down with injury and left Irving as the lone superstar amongst a young roster. After all that is what Irving wanted right? He asked for a trade out of Cleveland because he didn’t want to play second fiddle to LeBron James in Cleveland although the Cavaliers appeared in three straight finals.
Kyrie then went down with his own season-ending injury that seemed to shake the Celtics season. However the young Celtics team were able to rally behind veteran Al Horford and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals where they were one game away from defeating LeBron James and setting themselves up with a date with the Golden State Warriors. But this year was supposed to be different because the C’s were getting their leader back in Irving.
Kyrie’s lone full season as the starting point guard for the Celtics was marred with a handful of ups and downs. At the beginning of the season, Boston was playing good basketball, racking up 30 wins in 48 games. Then they sort of hit a wall and dropped to fourth in the conference after being second last season without Irving for the full season. So what happened? Well, Irving’s lack of leadership showed multiple times as he attempted to either play hero ball a bunch or he would alienate his teammates during and after games.