March 20, 2018

Kyrie Irving Frustrated with Clear Mask Worn in Win vs. Nets

15 November 2017, 11:40 | Sandy Nunez

Update on the latest in sports:

Toronto Raptors' Norman Powell

The Celtics will now sit at 13-2, with the NBA's best record, when they take on the West-leading defending National Basketball Association champion Golden State Warriors on Thursday night in a marquee nationally televised matchup between the league's best offense (Golden State, averaging a blistering 116.1 points per 100 possessions) and its No. 1 defense (Boston, allowing a minuscule 95.8 points-per-100). Golden State is 11-3 on the season, and have won 7 straight games.

"It sure looks like Boston is the team of the future in the East, with the assets that they still have and their young talent and their coaching, and Kyrie [Irving] is awesome", Kerr told reporters after practice on Tuesday, per ESPN's Chris Haynes.

Sporting the protective piece of plastic on his face, Irving scored 25 points and the Celtics ran their winning streak to 13 games with a 109-102 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night. What a streak that would be with the best team in the league coming to town. In a potential NBA Finals preview Thursday at TD Garden, Boston will try to make it 14 straight when it takes on the Warriors for the first time this season.

Kerr is impressed at how well Boston has rebounded after disappointment in past seasons and how they've continued to develop their young talent while adding new pieces around their young core.

"They really challenge you", Horford said of the Nets. "It's a team that's been on the rise the last couple of years". They want to win a championship, and it looks like it. So, it's going to be really fun to go against them on Thursday.

Salvation Army's Angel Tree campaign kicking off next week
Last year, the campaign was able to exceed its goal, and both Sadowy and Roche are hoping to see the same this year. The Salvation Army of Waynesville is kicking-off the annual Red Kettle Campaign on November 17.

Irving repeatedly wrestled with the mask Tuesday, fidgeting with the straps at times while dribbling up the court and removing it completely during nearly every dead-ball situation.

"I just think it's his team", Kerr said. Aside from a brief stop at home in late November, where they will play three games in four nights and then hit the trail once again, nine of the next 12 games will be away from Oracle Arena. "In Cleveland, he was such a dominant force, but it was always going to be LeBron's team". It just seems like the next stage in his development. "Sometimes our offense gets a little stagnant, but at the end of the day, if we defend the right way, we're going to win games". "I admire Kyrie. Obviously, he's been a thorn in our side for years, and now he just happens to wear green". "So, you take advantage of the two nights that you see them".

"I don't worry about him getting a rhythm too much", Boston coach Brad Stevens said.

On the other hand, he loves what comes next: Boston putting its 13-game winning streak on the line against the National Basketball Association champions. Boston is 1.5 games ahead of Detroit for the best record in the East.

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