Kyrie Irving starts to heat up despite Boston's struggles

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"He's definitely a tone-setter". "If we lose, it's on me". He's playing the right way.

The Pelicans just got swept on a three-game East Coast trip, losing at Philadelphia on Wednesday, at NY on Friday and at Washington on Saturday. The Winston-Salem, N.C. native is chipping in 5.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in just an average of 10.6 minutes per contest.

In an interview with Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer, Stevens spoke on how there is no individual player holding the team back, but it is that the entire team is no clicking.

"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 are probably the most asset-rich team in the league today and could certainly use Davis more, at least going by how their regular season has gone so far. Following Monday night's win, he made it abundantly clear that he does indeed consider Smart one of the leaders of the Celtics.

"We've got to do a better job", Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told his team's official website.

"That's according to Get More Sports" Chris Sheridan, who suggests Irving could possibly end up with the Sacramento Kings. We've just got a lot of work that we've got to do defensively.

New Orleans is 8-1 at home and its only loss came earlier in the season when Davis was sidelined by a different injury.

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"That's how we're used to playing".

The Celtics as a whole played pretty well on Monday night.

Once Irving's future in Boston is established under a new contract - or once he signs with another team, an outcome that is still possible in spite of his vocalized plan - then the Celtics will be unhampered to trade for Davis, who isn't scheduled to become a free agent until 2021.

"I feel like the season is kind of like a rollercoaster", guard Jrue Holiday said. Of the potential landing spots, National Basketball Association analyst Chris Mannix has now claimed that the Celtics are the clear front-runners due to the fact that the franchise has the most assets that can be used in a trade for Davis.

Irving had five steals, while Tatum and Horford each had three. Still, there's plenty of time for the Celtics to get back on track.

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.

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