It was a gorgeous New Orleans night as I sat in the courtyard of the Bayou Beer Garden with my girlfriend, her sister and her friend as we were all enjoying some cocktails. Well, they were. I was on the edge of my seat biting my fingernails as the Celtics were in a gridlocked battle with the Pacers of Indiana. Admittedly, I arrived late to the party and caught the game from the 4 minute mark in the first quarter onward and didn’t go back to watch the first 8 minutes of the game but Jesus Mary and Joseph what a game two that was and what an absolute enigma Kyrie Irving is.
Since leaving Cleveland, there has been a growing speculation that Kyrie could not, in fact, lead a team. I may have had some harsh words about this very topic, but we aren’t going to bring those up. He hadn’t yet played in a playoff series with the Celtics and his fully “healthy” campaign with Boston had been a tumultuous one. Game 1, he was pretty good, but no one was great. Game 2? He was what every Celtic fan was excited about getting. A lethal assassin that could not be stopped once he got going. Boy, he was as good as advertised last night, the whole team was.
Kyrie was an absolute stud last night posting 37 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists, I hope I got that across, but the bigger picture? This TEAM was on it last night. That pass that Jayson Tatum hit Gordon Hayward with at the end of the 4th quarter for a wide open layup when Tatum of old would have just faded away and hit back rim almost brought a tear to my eye. No matter how hard the Pacers tried to pull away, the Celtics wouldn’t let them. Any momentum the Pacers got, they some how fucked it up. No worse than on the final inbounds play that sent a relatively easy pass with 12 seconds to go to try and tie the game into the 4th row of the TD Garden stands. Al Horford was a monster in the paint, and Gordon Hayward had enough going to hopefully earn the start for game 3.
The Pacers absolutely played their hearts out and should have realistically won this game. But they didn’t. They aren’t mentally tough enough to beat the Celtics, and every loss they are handed, the Celtics are getting better. Celtics in 4.