To this day, the Boston Celtics are still reaping the benefits from the departure of a certain All-NBA point guard.
Kyrie Irving is gone, and the positive vibes have not wavered all season for the Boston Celtics in his wake. Despite what has seemed like a constant string of injuries for the C’s, there is still optimism for a top-two finish in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
Last year, even with most of the key players healthy, the team limped to a 48-win season that saw them bow out of the playoffs in the second round after being smacked around by the Milwaukee Bucks.
It looks better for Brad Stevens and co. that Milwaukee has become the league’s preeminent superpower. Still though, a team with so much talent that Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward were bench players should have been able to at least lose with dignity.
You could make the case that this year’s team has nowhere near as much talent or depth as the 2018-19 iteration. They are on pace for over 50 wins though.
It’s natural to point the finger at one player, especially when you look at the state of his current team. The Brooklyn Nets–fresh off of signing Irving and an injured Kevin Durant–are making the headlines for all of the wrong reasons.
With the coaching turnover that has taken place in Kings County, it is a stark reminder of what has happened with Irving’s coaches in the past. From a Boston Celtics perspective, though, they survived his two-year stint and are better off without him. Here are three reasons why that is the case: