Shaughnessy: Celtics Shouldn't Shop Kyrie

The Celtics have fared well without Irving, but the 26-year-old remains the best player on the team

Tiki and Tierney
May 16, 2018 - 9:49 am

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So, to review, the Cleveland Cavaliers lost Kyrie Irving and are back in the conference finals, and the Boston Celtics lost Kyrie Irving…and are back in the conference finals.

Interesting.

That begs the question: Should Boston shop Irving this offseason?

“I just have a hard time believing they’re better off without Kyrie Irving than with,” Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy said on Tiki and Tierney. “I’m not in on ‘Let’s take (Terry) Rozier instead of Irving.’ To me, that’s ludicrous.”

Irving, 26, has a championship-winning shot on his resume and averaged 24.4 points and 5.1 assists in 60 games this season. He has also had multiple knee injuries in his career.

“That never goes away with most guys,” Shaughnessy said. “We understand that. But we saw this guy for three-quarters of the season. They were really good with him. He was the best player on the team. The Cavs miss him dearly, and the Celtics do as well. I am not down with trying to go without him and make other moves, but Danny (Ainge) already knows what he’s going to do and it’ll have nothing to do with what we’re talking about here.”

The Celtics, who are seeking their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010, beat Cleveland 108-83 in Game 1 of the conference finals Sunday. 

“There’s been a big boost,” Shaughnessy said of hopeful Celtics fan. “Coming in, seeing what LeBron and the Cavs did to Toronto and just the Celtics, how banged up they are is undeniable. They got pushed around in a big way by the Cavs last year. There was a lot of anticipation going into that first game, and just to see the Celtics dominate from wire to wire was just impressive and kind of altering. It just puts a lot on this thing tonight. A lot of us are thinking the team that wins this game wins this series.”

The Cavs trailed 36-18 after the first quarter in Game 1 and didn’t put up much of a fight. Shaughnessy wasn’t surprised.

“We know what the Cavs did,” he said. “They lost by 18 in the first game to Indiana. They lost by like 30 in Game 6. When they see they’re not going to win, they mail it in and that’s that. It’s like in tennis, just tanking the match.”

Jaylen Brown (23) and Jayson Tatum (16) combined for 39 points on 15-of-27 shooting (55.5 percent) in Game 1, including 5-of-10 from three. As well as Tatum played in Game 1, it was actually his worst game in quite some time – at least statistically. He had scored 20+ points in eight of his ten previous playoff games, including seven straight.

This is a guy who turned 20 in March.

“He was NBA-ready from day one, which is hard to do,” Shaughnessy said. “I think for all the surprise about the Celtics and the no-name team, I think three or four years from now with Jaylen Brown and Tatum, they’re going to say, ‘We should have seen this coming’ – because those guys were totally ready.”

In MLB news, meanwhile, Mariners second baseman and eight-time All-Star Robinson Cano was suspended for 80 games for violating the league’s anti-drug policy. Cano, 35, tested positive for Furosemide, a banned diuretic.

Cano tweeted a statement Tuesday afternoon in which he accepted the suspension but said a licensed doctor gave him the substance to treat a medical ailment.

“I trust no one,” Shaughnessy said. “I understand getting an edge, and I understand a lot of things there. But the explanation is always the same. It’s like Shawshank. There’s not one guilty man there. That’s the deal.”

The Mariners (23-17) trail the Angels (25-16) by 1.5 games in the AL East. Seattle hasn’t made the playoffs since 2001.