The Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks have already inscribed their name in the next round of the NBA playoffs. With both teams sweeping their respective series, many people expect to see one of the hardest-fought and closest playoffs series we will see in a long time. Nevertheless, there is another group of people that think Boston doesn’t stand a chance against the Bucks and that they will need to do something remarkable in order to beat Milwaukee.
Stephen A. Smith took his time on ESPN’s First Take to explain why he considers the only hope the Celtics have to succeed in this series is none other than having Kyrie Irving’s best version of himself. When asked about which player is more important for his team between Kyrie and Giannis, Smith said:
“I think it’s Kyrie, I think it’s easily Kyrie in this particular situation.”
“This is an elite defense, it’s an elite offense, primarily because you got the Greek Freak finishing in the paint surrounded by a whole bunch of 3-point shooters. I’m not blind! You going to bet your money, you bet on the Bucks, but here’s the reality of the situation.
You look at Kyrie Irving, the spectacular player, the showman that he is particularly during this time of the year and it speaks for itself. But then, when you couple that with the fact that he is so desperately needed and you look at what Boston has been this year, the reality is that the only reason to believe that Boston is going to win this series is because you’re holding out the hope that the spectacular version of Kyrie Irving will show up and show out in ways that very few in NBA history have been able to do.”
Perhaps the Celtics have already defeated the Bucks this season and yes, they eliminated them from the playoffs last season without Kyrie, but that doesn’t mean Boston will have the same fate this year, as things are a lot different. They will face the best team in the league with one of the best players in the association and an organization that is eager to transcend and win important things this season.
Maybe not even the best version of Irving will be enough to defeat this inspired Bucks, but if Boston wants to have a tiny hope, they need to have Kyrie at his peak, or even higher.