Entering the 2018-19 season (preseason starts Friday!) the Celtics are the clear East favorites to reach the NBA Finals. But, the games must still be played. Nothing is automatic. A big thing for Boston is getting a healthy Kyrie Irving back in action, alongside of course Gordon Hayward, who missed roughly 99.9% of last season and is now good to go. Here’s Danny Ainge discussing Irving, as reported by the Boston Herald:
As for what he’s looking forward to most with Irving back from his knee maintenance issues that necessitated a second surgery when an infection was found, Ainge said, “I think just having Kyrie’s leadership around the whole year, having him be on the court. He did a lot of good things, like texting the players. He was the biggest cheerleader for Jaylen (Brown) and Jayson (Tatum) and Terry (Rozier) and Marcus (Smart/Morris) and all those guys last year when he wasn’t playing.
“But just having him on the court at the end of games is the thing I’m looking most forward to and having a guy that can beat switches and make shots and make lots of plays. He’s a very special player.”
Ainge is getting no additional pleasure from the fact Irving is talking more about his future in Boston beyond this season in recent interviews. This after being fairly coy about his plans after he does as expected and opts out of his deal next summer to sign a more lucrative and lengthy contract.