NBA

Kyrie Irving takes subtle dig at Cavaliers by praising the Celtics' passing style

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Kyrie Irving made his much-anticipated debut with the Boston Celtics on Monday night in a 94-82 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

The point guard put up nine points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 19 minutes of action but didn't enjoy the best of shooting nights as he went 4-of-11 from the field.

It was the first time he had a chance to operate in Brad Stevens' system and get acquainted with fellow All-Star teammates Gordon Hayward and Al Horford.

The starters for the Celtics only played in the first half but it was evident that they placed a huge emphasis on moving the ball as they racked up 14 assists on 18 made baskets.

The team's unselfish style impressed Irving and he had high praise for his new teammates after the game.

“It was awesome, man,” Irving said, per MassLive. “Beautiful to be a part of. It was beautiful to watch.”

“Sometimes we even got into a span of making the extra, extra pass. And when you’re in a group like that, you know you’re playing with some great guys.”

Those with a cynical view can certainly interpret this as a subtle shot at his former employers in Cleveland.

Kyrie recently stated that he wanted to become a complete point guard in Boston and didn't really enjoy playing iso basketball so much during his time with the Cavs.

His public praise for the way the Celtics moved the ball in just his first game is another indication that he wasn't happy with the style of play he became used to in the past.

Due to his shock departure from Ohio, every quote the 25-year-old gives will be scrutinised as he has remained coy about his reasons for leaving.

The four-time All-Star has often been criticised for his selfish style on the court and tendency to go one-on-one on most possessions.

But since claiming that it was something demanded of him by the Cavaliers coaching staff, it will be interesting to see if he develops into more of a facilitator with the C's.

'Uncle Drew' is certainly a capable passer and proved it last season as he posted double-digit assists on multiple occasions.

As many have stated, Kyrie has placed a huge amount of pressure on himself by leaving the Cavs - who have made three straight finals - to become the focal point and face of a franchise.

He won't have long to wait to face his former teammates as the Celtics will square off against the Cavs on opening night at Quicken Loans Arena on October 18.

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Kyrie Irving
LeBron James

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