Rick Barry Calls Out Kyrie Irving

The Celtics have lost three straight games to the Bucks – and Kyrie Irving is a big reason why

Taz and the Moose
May 07, 2019 - 10:08 am
Kyrie Irving Boston Celtics Milwaukee Bucks

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After winning Game 1 of their second-round playoff series against Milwaukee – by 22 points, no less – the Boston Celtics were seemingly clicking on all cylinders and a safe bet to return to the Eastern Conference Finals for the third straight season.

They have since lost three straight.

What happened?

“Terrible shot selection,” Hall of Famer Rick Barry said on Taz & The Moose. “Kyrie is right at the top of the list.”

Irving scored 23 points in Boston’s 113-101 loss Monday but shot just 7-of-22 from the floor. He has shot 19-of-62 (31 percent) in his last three games. The 43 missed field goals are the most he’s missed in a three-game stretch in the playoffs. Ever.

“Did you see some of the shots he took last night?” Barry asked. “You kill your team when you do that. You have to take responsibility and have an understanding of the value of possessions and taking good shots. You just have to – and they’re not doing that right now. They’re in trouble the way that they’re playing. They’ve struggled, there’s no question about it.”

While the Bucks lead Boston 3-1, the Raptors and 76ers are tied 2-2. Kawhi Leonard has been a machine against Philadelphia, averaging 38.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

“You know what I love about him? He just goes about his business,” Barry said. “He doesn’t bring attention to himself. He’s not pounding his chest. He’s not pulling out his jersey. He just goes about it and he’s like the silent assassin. He’s a heck of a basketball player, and I love the way that he’s playing.”

While Barry could see that series going either way, he gives the slight edge to Toronto, mostly because of Leonard, who has an NBA title and Finals MVP on his resume.

“He’s been there, he’s done it, he’s played in big games, so he knows what it’s like,” Barry said. “That’s why I say he just goes about his business. He’s the ultimate professional. That’s what you want to have from a guy like him. You want to have your great players come out and raise their level. You have to do it in the playoffs because they let things get way more physical than they do in the regular season, which I’ve been trying to figure out for decades and decades. Why do they all of a sudden change the rules in the playoffs so you can do things to an opponent that you couldn’t do in the regular season? You would have been called for a foul. Yet in the playoffs, they let you do it.”

Click below to listen to Barry’s interview in its entirety.