Kyrie Irving did not appear to be pleased after Gordon Hayward opted to go to Jayson Tatum for a potential game-winner instead of him in the Celtics' loss to the Magic on Saturday night.
Brad Stevens' men were not able to bounce back from Thursday's loss to the Miami Heat, losing a second straight game in Florida as Orlando would hold out for a 105-103 victory at home on the weekend.
Irving was seen arguing a play on the bench as Stevens readied his men for the final push of the night and was visibly upset when Hayward looked for Tatum instead of him on the inbound pass - although he was some distance away.
Kyrie Irving was visibly upset with Gordon Hayward following a bad loss to the Magic. pic.twitter.com/crR3XADR3v— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) January 13, 2019
Incidentally, Tatum missed the shot, something which left Irving fuming as he approached Hayward, appearing to vehemently question his decision.
Hayward, though, has since explained why he chose to go for Tatum and not Irving.
“It was late clock and we’ve worked on that play before,” he said. “I’ve seen [Jayson Tatum] hit that shot countless times, so I felt like it was a good shot.”
Irving was still critical of his teammates when he spoke to reporters after the disheartening loss.
“The young guys don’t know what it takes to be a championship level team," the point guard declared, via Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. "What it takes every day. And if they think it is hard now, what do they think it will be like when we’re trying to get to the Finals?
What This Means
The Celtics aren't in a good place right now. Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown had to be held apart after a quick altercation during the loss to the Heat on Thursday and this latest bit couldn't have made things any better.
It's going to take some work to see them regain the form that saw them get to within one win of the NBA finals last season. And they don't look to be coping with the raised expectations very well.