Kyrie Irving heaps praise on Celtics: ‘Their window is now'


Kyrie Irving's relationship with Boston Celtics fans may be beyond repair, but the ex-C's guard still has plenty of respect for his former teammates.

The Celtics are up 2-0 in the first-round playoff series following Wednesday night's thrilling 114-107 win in Game 2. In his postgame press conference, Irving shared his thoughts on Boston's success.

Celtics-Nets takeaways: C's pull off incredible comeback to take Game 2

"I'm not surprised at all," Irving said. "I just think the timing is right. Their window is now for these young guys that are on this team that have matured. They've been through series together, they've been through seasons together, they've been through battles together."

Irving sees a difference in how the young core's mentality compared to when he donned Celtics green. He also credited head coach Ime Udoka (formerly a Nets assistant) as well as head coach-turned-president of basketball operations Brad Stevens.

"I got a chance to experience some of that, and now being on the opposite end and going against a healthy Celtics team, obviously without Robert Williams, you just see there's a difference in their verve," Irving added. "There's a difference in the way they approach the game and also they have a set offense and defense that they rely on, and Ime's been a huge part of that. But you've got to give credit to that guy that's sitting in the president's role as well now. We don't get to see him as often, but Brad Stevens definitely has a lot to do with it."

Irving often criticized the Celtics' young players during his tenure with the team. He didn't shy away from expressing his desire for a veteran presence in the locker room.

“The young guys don’t know what it takes to be a championship-level team. What it takes every day," Irving said during a slump in Jan. 2019. "And if they think it is hard now, what do they think it will be like when we’re trying to get to the Finals?”

What a difference a couple of years makes.

The Celtics limited Irving to 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting in Game 2. They also stifled fellow superstar Kevin Durant, who had 27 points, but was a dismal 4-of-17 from the field with six turnovers.

Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET. You can catch the action right here on NBC Sports Boston starting at 6:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live.

Note: Games 3-6 of the Brooklyn Nets-Boston Celtics series will be aired on NBC Sports Boston and can also be streamed on or with the MyTeams App, which you can download below.

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