Game 7 learning experience; Why was Kyrie missing — CELTICS TALK PODCAST

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart

On Monday, Celtics president Danny Ainge informed everybody where Irving was. With his incredible performance, the Celtics have two options on Tatum this summer, wait for him to fully develop into a superstar, or use him as a trade chip in a blockbuster trade.

Ainge added that Kyrie Irving, who is recovering from knee surgery, may be ready for scrimmaging at a point earlier than Hayward. On Wednesday night, however, the team announced forward had successful surgery to remove the plate and screws from his ankle and that Boston was expecting him to resume basketball activities in 6-8 weeks and for him to be healthy by training camp.

James and the Cavs had just held the Celtics to 13 points in the third quarter. That said, at least it's after their season is already over and not just before the postseason.

When you cough-up a 2-0 series lead and a 3-2 series lead, you open yourself to criticism.

Despite what the NBA's All-Defensive Team selection may say, Marcus Smart is arguably the best backcourt defender in the league right now, and his hustle, grit and grind will come quite handy for any team in the league for sure. The Celtics gave it to them.

"The farther you go in the playoffs, the more hard it is to lose", Ainge said.

We now know why Irving wasn't at the game.

More news: English Championship Play-Off Report: Aston Villa v Fulham 26 May 2018

You can't blame Smart for taking advantage of the opportunity. It hurts to not be able to play, especially when a team's doing so well.

The good news on that front is that they have a pair of All-Stars coming back next season that missed the playoffs due to injury.

There is truth to the sentiment that the Celtics were ahead of schedule.

Jayson Tatum's rookie year was something to remember. And once Hayward and Irving return, things nearly certainly will get even better for Boston. Things have to fall in line. But it's hard to imagine him not playing a major role. So we need Gordon and Kyrie, absolutely need them. They now have proven National Basketball Association talent around them and they need to accept the construct of this team doesn't require hero ball.

Marcus Smart is one of those players whose intangible qualities go unnoticed by the casual fan.

Center Aron Baynes is an unrestricted free agent, as are Greg Monroe and Shane Larkin. But I like this group of guys.

In other words, the Celtics are just getting started. Ben Simmons could share the frontcourt with Hayward and Al Horford, giving the much-needed help in terms of rebounding, scoring, and protecting the rim.

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