"I think we all just started focusing on what we did two or three years ago, not anxious about who's getting the shots, just trying to lock in on the defensive end and move the ball". In 19 games this season, Hayward is averaging 10.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 26.7 minutes per game. To be eligible, the players must have achieved one of three accolades during the first four seasons of their career: MVP award, Defensive Player of the Year award, or two All-NBA selections.
"Marcus (Smart) brings, and (Aron) Baynes, they bring such a level of grit to our group and I think that I wanted to see what that would look like with Marcus Smart in the starting lineup", Stevens said. They'd close out their best start-to-finish game of the season for a 124-107 victory to improve to 11-10 on the season.
"We've got to do a better job", Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told his team's official website.
Irving is averaging 22 points and 6.4 assists per game on the young season, and has really turned up recently, leading Boston in scoring in five out of the team's last seven games. The Pelicans are now 10-11 and 12th in the Western Conference standings.
The rumors of an Anthony Davis trade are continuing to build in momentum, although a deal will most likely not be completed until the end of the season.
"Get me off the ball", Jrue Holiday said half-jokingly at Tuesday's practice.
"I mean there's a reason why we signed him back", said Irving. "We've got to get back to who we are. That's the only thing that matters right now". The Celtics have an abundance of talent, but it is about chemistry and players working as a unit to be successful. "So, I got to play nearly ideal every night to give us a chance to win".
Irving had five steals, while Tatum and Horford each had three. 'The Celtics, at some point, if you want to get a Kawhi Leonard or in this auto Anthony Davis you can't just protect your five-man core.
But it's clear that for now, the Celtics need Marcus Smart, his defense, and most importantly, his energy, on the floor to start games.