As the Boston Celtics (12-2) look for their 13th victory in a row Tuesday night against the Brooklyn Nets (5-8) at Barclays Center, the team got good news earlier today when star point guard Kyrie Irving returned to the starting lineup. "It's masked man. But I understand that it's just for my safety so throw on the mask for a few weeks and go about my business".
"I was telling some of my teammates, some of the fans, too, they were asking me whether I was going to wear the black mask. When I have the mask on, I'm really dialed into what's in front of me, my peripherals are a little cut off, but it's just something you get used to". "The difference with the black mask is that they're not getting the ball because I couldn't see outside of my eyesight".
The Celtics, winners of 12 in a row, have the best record in the National Basketball Association.
On the other hand, he loves what comes next: Boston putting its 13-game winning streak on the line against the National Basketball Association champions. Even though DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry combined to score almost half of the Raptors points, Al Horford, 21 points, led a balanced attack that featured five Celtics scoring in double figures.
"I thought guys competed", Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said.
One would think a team playing this style is good preparation for the next one on the schedule - the defending National Basketball Association champion Golden State Warriors.
"They're really sound, and they're motivated", Kerr said.
"The way that they converted on us in transition after our mistakes tonight, you can't have that against Golden State". They set the tone.
Marcus Morris added 21 points and 10 rebounds while Al Horford contributed 17 points and 11 rebounds for Boston and called Irving's return "great" for the Celtics.
Boston then finally put it away with Jaylen Brown's alley-oop feed to Tatum before Irving hit two free throws to make it 106-96.
"We're just gelling together, and we're defending our (butts) off", Morris said.