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Are the 2017 Cavaliers Irrelevant? Warriors Seem More Worried By Kyrie Irving’s Streaking Celtics

On Thursday night at TD Garden the NBA’s apparently unstoppable winning streak meets the league’ provably unstoppable offense, when the Boston Celtics host the Golden State Warriors.

LeBron James, left, and Stephen Curry.

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, left, with Stephen Curry in Cleveland, Ohio, June 16 2015. The Cavaliers and Warriors have played the past three NBA Finals. Ezra Shaw/Getty ” data-reactid=”26″> LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, left, with Stephen Curry in Cleveland, Ohio, June 16 2015. The Cavaliers and Warriors have played the past three NBA Finals. Ezra Shaw/Getty

ESPN.” data-reactid=”27″>The Celtics’ early-season excellence has caught the attention of Steve Kerr, the Warriors head coach. “It sure looks like Boston is the team of the future in the East, with the assets that they still have and their young talent and their coaching, and Kyrie [Irving] is amazing,” Kerr said after practice on Tuesday in quotes reported by ESPN.

You could, if you so wished, interpret it as a tangential dig at James’s Cavaliers, who have spluttered to a 7-7 record and sit in the middle of a collection of fringe playoff contenders, at best, in the East. Or you could conclude that there is more realism than snarkiness to Kerr’s comments. It is a fact lost on no one, least of all James, that the Cavaliers have been abysmal defensively so far this season, ranking above only the Nets and the Phoenix Suns in average ppg allowed. With James able to test free agency in the summer of 2018, with Isaiah Thomas still recuperating from hip problems and with a starry but old or infirm supporting cast—Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose have been problems this season as well as solutions—it feels like without James’s transcendence, the Cavaliers could slip back into the pack. So—again, perhaps a premature conclusion that will return to haunt us—Thursday night in Boston has the feeling of a shift in the NBA’s long-established order.

This article was first written by Newsweek

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