BOSTON (CBS) — The latest edition of “A Slice Of Sully” started off with a rare occurrence: Steve Burton and Scott Sullivan agreeing on something.
That something is that the Celtics are in no way, shape or form better without Kyrie Irving.
“That’s ridiculous. It’s ludicrous. He’s one of the best players in the NBA, a closer. You need him,” said Sully.
Irving missed the last two games ahead of the break with a knee injury, with the C’s winning them both to improve to 10-2 in games without their star point guard.
“The Celtics are not better off without Kyrie. They have a good team and can still win games without him. But going all the way and making a deep run [in the playoffs], no. You need Kyrie,” added Sully.
A game Irving isn’t expected to miss is Sunday’s All-Star game in Charlotte. He is Boston’s lone All-Star this season, and will also coach Friday night’s Rising Stars Challenge.
Since it’s Kyrie Irving, some are making a big deal about him missing the last two games ahead of the break and then playing in Sunday’s exhibition (which he’ll only do if he’s 100 percent cleared by the Celtics medical staff). Both Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge have said that playing in the All-Star game would be a good thing for Irving, giving him a chance to run up and down the floor a few times before returning to some real action for the Celtics next Thursday.
Sully agrees with the Boston brass.
“If he’s 100 percent healthy and up to it, get a few minutes in. It’s a love-fest; those aren’t real basketball games anyways,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a big deal if he goes and plays in that game. All-Star games are a big deal to players.”
As for what happens after the break, Sully is “cautiously optimistic” about the Celtics, who have now won 12 of their last 15 games.
“Traditionally, they play very well after All-Star break under Stevens,” said Sully. “They’re ready to make this run. I think [Marcus] Morris saying what he said last week was a good thing. ‘Let’s wake up, play team-oriented ball and play for 48 minutes a night.’ If they do, the sky is the limit for this team.”
Watch the full segment in the clip above and click here for previous episodes of “A Slice Of Sully.”