"Boston is in the way in between our goal" - Kyrie Irving sends stoic message to former team, Celtics, ahead of finals clash

Kyrie Irving sends stoic message to former team, Celtics, ahead of finals clash
Kyrie Irving sends stoic message to former team, Celtics, ahead of finals clash

Kyrie Irving and the Dallas Mavericks blew out the Minnesota Timberwolves 124-103 during Thursday's Western Conference finals Game 5 showdown. With the decisive road victory, they won the series 4-1, advancing to the NBA Finals, where Irving will face his former team, the Boston Celtics. Afterward, Irving touched on his anticipation for the matchup.

Kyrie Irving finished Game 5 with a game-high-tying 36 points, four rebounds, five assists and four 3-pointers on 51.9% shooting. He and his co-star Luka Doncic combined for a whopping 72 points. Meanwhile, Dallas led by as many as 36 points in the close-out contest against the league's No. 1 defensive team.

When asked postgame if he was looking forward to taking on Boston in the finals, the 32-year-old gave a brief, business-like response, citing Dallas' championship goal.

"Yeah, absolutely," Irving said. "I mean, Boston is in the way in between our goal. So, that's it, man."

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Doncic and Irving's lethal one-two scoring punch has many proclaiming them the NBA's all-time greatest offensive backcourt. Thus, Irving continues to silence his doubters after enduring years of ridicule with the Celtics and Brooklyn Nets.

The eight-time All-Star played two seasons with Boston from 2017 to 2019 after being acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017 offseason. Irving was expected to elevate the Celtics' young core amid its NBA title pursuit. However, his tenure with the franchise was mired by injuries.

Irving missed Boston's entire 2018 Eastern Conference finals run after undergoing left knee surgery. The following year, he appeared in nine playoff contests as the Celtics fell 4-1 in the second round to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Despite expressing a desire to re-sign with Boston, Irving joined the Nets in 2019 free agency, where he had another tumultuous, injury-plagued three-and-a-half-year run. He dealt with several off-court controversies before Dallas rolled the dice on acquiring him at last year's trade deadline.

The move has paid off, with Irving being an ideal running mate next to Doncic, leading the Mavericks to their first finals appearance since 2011. Irving now has a chance to win a title against his former team, whose fanbase has expressed disdain for him since he departed from Boston.

The league-best Celtics (64-18), led by superstars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, have faced little postseason resistance thus far. They boast a 12-2 record through three rounds.

However, if Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic continue their offensive mastery, they should give Boston a run for its money.

Kyrie Irving on his advice to his teammates ahead of NBA Finals clash against Boston

While Dallas hasn't made an NBA Finals appearance since 2011, Kyrie Irving has made three finals appearances since then. He went to the finals three consecutive years with the Cavaliers from 2015 to 2017, winning the 2016 championship.

During Thursday's postgame interview, Irving was asked what advice he had for his Mavericks teammates entering their first finals. The one-time NBA champion stressed the importance of savoring the opportunity and capitalizing on their hard work.

"Just enjoy the moment and realize how hard you worked to get there," Irving said.
"Nothing is guaranteed in this league, especially making it to the finals every year. We couldn't have done it without a collective responsibility, us working together every single day, practicing hard and doing the little things. So, we should reward ourselves by playing hard."

Game 1 of the finals between the Mavericks and Celtics takes place on June 6 in Boston. Kyrie Irving and Co. will look to steal home-court advantage, as they did in the West finals against Minnesota.

Also Read: Luka Doncic wins WCF Magic Johnson MVP trophy, erases pain of losing regular season award

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