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Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving sent a group text message to his teammates before Game 2, the contents of which resonated with his teammates before they took a commanding 2-0 lead in a first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Irving, who attended Game 1 and sat on the bench during the first half, was not spotted inside TD Garden for Game 2, but his teammates said his words of encouragement helped Mike Gartner Jersey them before Tuesday’s 120-106 triumph.
It’s notable that Celtics players have gone out of their way to praise Irving’s leadership, particularly when juxtaposed to a situation like San Antonio and the lingering uncertainty surrounding Kawhi Leonard.
The Celtics have won their first two games of the playoffs in large part because of the contributions of players such as Terry Rozier, who hasn’t committed a turnover in 78 minutes of floor time since elevating to a starting role in place of Irving.
Snyder then poses a pointed question to the Rookie of the Year candidate, the only player in the room, who is seated to the coach’s right in the front row, flanked by assistant coach Johnnie Bryant.
What do you got going there? Is that a new arrow thing you got going? Snyder asks, playfully referring to Mitchell’s post-shot celebration.
If Kyle Korver is healthy enough, he should play more. Korver’s effort has been a rare constant amid Cleveland’s endless melodrama. He’s not a stopper, but he tries, he’s in the right place and he has knack for deflections and gang rebounds — the little plays that galvanize lethargic teams. Also, he can shoot. The Cavs might want to explore smaller, all-shooting lineups with LeBron as the true power forward — groups that include LeBron, Love, and three of the George Hill/J.R. Smith/Rodney Hood/Jordan Clarkson/Korver/Cedi Osman crew.