Kyrie Irving Says Celtics Can't Wait to Give Extra Effort, but Won't Panic

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2018

Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving (11) and Jayson Tatum (0) walk up court during the second half on an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The Boston Celtics fell to 9-9 on the season with a 117-109 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday night, and that has All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving looking for his team to make adjustments.

Irving isn't ready to panic just yet, but he knows that the Celtics need to start playing better if they are going to fulfill their championship aspirations, per NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg:

"We just can’t wait anymore, honestly. From myself, everybody else as a collective, to our coaching staff, we just don’t have time to really be waiting to kind of see if guys are going to give that extra effort. Including myself, it’s just an accountability standpoint that we all have to have.


"I think that, at this point, it’s just tiring. Like I said, there’s no more time to wait. It’s not that I’m pushing the panic button or anything like that, I just think that there’s no more time to wait for games to start off and then go down in a hole where even our home crowd has been antsy and guys are pressing and stuff like that. It’s a long game but I think there are some controllable things in the beginning of the game that we can fix."

This is largely the same Boston squad that came within one game of the NBA Finals a season ago before falling to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. However, both Irving (knee) and All-Star Gordon Hayward (leg) missed the playoff run with injuries.

And this season, things just haven't clicked as the two stars try to work their way back into the mix.

Boston's loss to New York on Wednesday was its third in a row and the seventh in the last 10 games. While the final score might indicate it was a competitive game, the 5-14 Knicks held a 26-point lead in the first half.

The TD Garden crowd booed the home team during the game:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Celtics getting booed by their fans after getting down big to the Knicks 😬 https://t.co/ABCkM6z81R

Afterward, Irving found himself in some controversy when he said "F--k Thanksgiving." The 26-year-old would later apologize via social media and say that he was speaking out of frustration:

Kyrie Irving @KyrieIrving

I spoke w/ frustration after last nights game and spoke words that shouldn’t be in a professional setting no matter what.

Kyrie Irving @KyrieIrving

Meant no disrespect to the Holiday and those who celebrate it respectfully. I’m grateful for the time We all can share with our families. We are always ONE. 🔺👁

Irving has played in three Finals in his career and has an NBA title on his resume. He knows what it takes to be the last team standing, and he understands the Celtics still have plenty of time to get into a rhythm. But he also knows last year's success doesn't guarantee anything for this year's squad.

"You gotta do little things, you have to earn your wins in this league. In order to be considered a special team, you have to earn it, and no one is going to give it to us.

"The expectations everyone has on us means s--t at this point, excuse my language, but it doesn’t mean anything. Until we figure that out, we’ll be struggling. But I’m going to continue to push this team, I’m going to continue to lead the best I know how, as well as with Coach Stevens."

Irving and the Celtics won't have to wait long to try to get their season back on track. They will be back in action on Friday night against the Atlanta Hawks.