Kyrie Irving believes the Boston Celtics’ early-season success is down to the team’s ‘incredible’ chemistry on the court.
The Celtics have started the NBA regular season with a 9-2 record and are currently on a nine-game winning streak following two losses to start the season.
The fast start has come in spite of star free agent signing Gordon Hayward suffering a fractured ankle inside the opening six minutes of the regular season, a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kyrie Irving is averaging 22.3 points per game in the opening 11 matches of the regular season
And Irving, who was traded to Boston from Cleveland in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, says he has already developed ‘incredible relationships’ with his team-mates.
When asked whether he trusted 19-year-old rookie Jayson Tatum to make big shots, Irving said: ‘Absolutely. That’s elevating my teammates and elevating the guys around me, understanding that if that pass isn’t made then it could be a different outcome.
‘Being with this team a lot you develop incredible relationships after every single game, every single practice, off the court; that pass has to be made, and he has to shoot, if he doesn’t shoot I’m going to be right in his face telling him to shoot.
‘He’s got to step up and everybody in this locker room is still playing great within their roles’.
Irving was traded from Cleveland Cavaliers to Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas
The point guard said Boston’s team chemistry has been behind their success this season
Irving asked to be traded from Cleveland this summer after six seasons with the Cavaliers. He was drafted by the franchise in 2011 and scored the game-clinching shot as they won the 2016 Finals.
The point guard told ESPN that he made the demand in order to ‘develop and evolve as a man’ and denied reports that he simply wanted to play outside of Cavaliers’ star LeBron James’ shadow.
However Irving described the culture in Cleveland as ‘energy draining’ and said he simply wanted to play somewhere he could be ‘happy’.
The Celtics have taken the NBA by surprise with their defensive play this season and currently allow less points per game than any other team in the league.
He denied wanting to leave Cleveland because of a desire to play away from LeBron James
Irving said he trusted all his team-mates fully including 19-year-old rookie Jayson Tatum
‘I feel like we’re doing a great job in terms of locking rings in terms of our preservations in coming out,’ he added.
‘We want to just keep that up as much as we can, every single night we have a game plan and we’re going to execute it.’
The Celtics and Cavaliers are likely to do battle once again in the playoffs this season for a spot in the NBA Finals.
The two teams met in the Eastern Conference Finals last season with Cleveland winning in five games over the Celtics to advance to the Finals, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors.
Irving and the Boston Celtics will play a regular season game in London on January 13 when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers at the O2 Arena.