Milwaukee now has the most 20-point wins (five) through the first nine games of the playoffs in National Basketball Association history, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Nevertheless, the Celtics will not turn their backs on him.
Meanwhile, Irving's future with the club remains unknown. You got Ersan [Ilyasova] and George [Hill], they're just leading that second unit and I think Giannis [Antetokounmpo] and Khris [Middleton] did a great job leading that group as well as E-Bled [Eric Bledsoe] coming in filling in where he could as well. "See my family, decompress, do what human beings do", said Irving.
The most important decision will be what Irving decides to do, with permutations on what the Celtics will do in the trade window. The polar opposite of the team that made the conference finals a season ago.
"Not what we expected", Boston center Al Horford said. They're just a better team than us. "For me, it's just moving on to the next thing, and just seeing where that ends up".
Marcus Morris is an unrestricted free agent. Their season is over, and it could not have ended in uglier fashion. Bledsoe is one of the players who will make up the difference. "Obviously in Game 1 we pulled away.", Brad Stevens said.
As he was in the previous three games, Irving was erratic, started out 2-of-12 as the Bucks built a double-digit lead. Major changes could include the departures of Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier.
At a season-ticket holder event during training camp, Irving committed to staying with the Celtics long term.
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Rozier had high hopes for this season anyway but struggled in a reduced role. From Games 2 through 5, the veteran point guard converted on just 25-of-85 field-goal attempts (30.1 percent) and 7-of-32 shooting from 3-point range (21.8 percent).
You can now ask him about July 1.
When your season is on the line, that kind of performance is simply unacceptable, to say nothing of his famous ability to sulk and complain and find new ways to resist being a real leader.
And with Boston facing the strong possibility of going out of the playoffs, attention has turned to what could happen in the offseason. The Celtics have not signed a player to a rookie extension since Rajon Rondo in 2009, but Brown would seem like a likely candidate. Gordon Hayward was looking like the All-Star version of himself again. At the buzzer, Irving bounced onto the court and hugged several Bucks players, including Antetokounmpo.
Forward Jayson Tatum, who did not take the second-year leap to stardom some were expecting, still has two years remaining on his rookie contract.
Irving went 6 for 21 from the field in what might have been his final game with Boston. Both sides called that negotiation one of the easiest they have agreed upon. That's not what the Celtics had envisioned they'd get from the former first overall pick, especially in the playoffs. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 39 points with 16 rebounds on 15 of 22 shooting. If Baynes and Horford return, though, Theis may look to latch on as a backup elsewhere.