If there's anyone on this team who can be a hero, however, Irving is certainly the obvious choice.
In the last three games, Irving has collected 61 points, needing 62 shots to do it.
In stark contrast to Game 3, the Bucks have only shot eight free throws so far in Game 4. "And I don't think Kyrie - he's a nice kid and a hell of a player - but from a mental makeup, especially since they say he's going to NY, listen, if he can't handle playing in Boston, he's got no chance of playing in NY because that's a totally different animal". Marcus Smart, who has been out since tearing a muscle in his side during the second-to-last game of the regular season, played 15 minutes and scored three points, making 1 of 7 attempts from 3-point range.
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The Celtics are speading the offensive load with Irving, Morris and Jaylen Brown all finishing the half with 11 points, Boston has 13 assists on 17 made field goals.
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The crowd inside TD Garden, where Milwaukee lost to Boston four times in the playoffs last season, was deafening. Golden State then swept the final two games to reach the NBA Finals, where they captured their second straight championship and third in four years.
Irving, 27, has struggled against the Bucks in the second round of the playoffs, shooting only 37 percent from the field and 24 percent from deep. And then when you go to the press conference and say I should've 30 shots, what do you think the other 14 guys in the vehicle going home are saying? "Who cares?" he said.
If he does, the sum total of his two seasons in Boston might wind up being a run to the conference finals while he was injured and not playing in 2018, followed by a jalopy of a postseason that puttered out in a shroud of smoke in Round 2. "That's just basketball 101", he said. "I'm that great of a shooter". We're watching a player on the path to Springfield, Massachusetts. Led by veteran point guard George Hill and Arlington native Pat Connaughton, Milwaukee's bench, on the other hand, has kept their team afloat.
Irving has acknowledged throughout the year, and did once more on Monday, that there's a delicate balance of getting his own shot versus getting his teammates involved. And they'll likely get their wish, because as Rose pointed out, Brad Stevens and the Celtics have a set system - and Irving doesn't appear to be a fit anymore.
Gordon Hayward has struggled.