As George Hill gets the ball and starts the break, look at where Kyrie Irving and Pat Connaughton are. But then watch what happens as Irving casually jogs against the best transition offense in the NBA.
Throughout the entire series Kyrie has been extremely nonchalant in getting back, forcing all kinds of mismatches and wide open looks.
And I’ll break it down exactly how Kyrie Irving has been hurting the Celtics. What up everybody my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
Now first of all, let me explain the root of the problem. Since Boston has been putting 2 or sometimes even three guys in front of Giannis in transition, that obviously opens up a lot of opportunities for shooters, and the Celtics need to have everyone back to help out on the contest.
And Kyrie has consistently been working opposite of that strategy.
Look at this: Even tho he’s the closest guy to Bledsoe, he is extremely slow getting back, signaling to Horford the slowest guy on defense, to pick up the quickest one on the Bucks,
And Horford has to protect the basket and give up a lot of room for a shot.
And here After a missed shot, you can see that Kyrie is he is ahead of Hill, but the Milwaukee guard easily beats him despite having the ball.
Btw why is Irving telling Baynes to pick up his man despite him being so close to him? It makes no sense whatsoever.
This is another obvious lack of effort play, even tho they’re in line Hill, goes full speed while Irving is content with leaving him to get a full head of steam, and that’s very tough to guard forcing a foul call.
There have been a bunch of situations of Kyrie being lazy and instead of hustling back to guard his match up, he would jog back, look around and pick a random guy to stand next to, which again- forces all kinds of mismatches, and I am 100% certain that it’s against avery defensive plan that Brad Stevens had. It’s extremely simple- if you’re opponent is good or in this case the best NBA transition team, you always look to get back on defense.
Irving really doesn’t seem to care, as he would also inexplicably often go for a rebound against the Bucks big men. Check out this situation. 3 opposing players taller than him, and because of this gamble, look who ends up wide open at the end of this play. And of course this shot goes in.
There have also been quite a few situations where he’s been caught napping on defense, not paying attention to his man, and every time he’s been punished for that.
Now this is some of his awful defense. But that’s only half of the problem.
The situation on offense is just as bad.
He’s been shooting a horrible 37% in this series, being especially bad from downtown with only 6 threes throughout these 4 games.
And as bad as that is, some of the shots that he takes are deflating the entire team. This is a group that thrives off of movement, pick and rolls, handoffs, cuts, getting everyone involved and instead you have Irving shooting heavily contested shots without a single teammate touching the ball on the possession. And these types of shots, combined with the extreme lack of effort on defense, forcing everyone else to cover for him, that’s extremely unfair, and I can easily understand why this team has been having a lot of chemistry issues throughout the entire season.
This is why I was doubting them so much before the playoffs, saying that they would even have problems against the Pacers, which turned out to be very wrong, but the Milwaukee Bucks are a much more serious team and exposed all of that in this second round.