Kyrie Irving said he plans to take "some games off before the playoffs", according to NBC Sports' Chris Forsberg. The Celtics' points guard said that an emphasis on March and April regular season games "makes no sense."
"I’m definitely taking some games off before the playoffs,” Irving said. at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Wednesday. "Makes no sense, the emphasis on these regular games, when you’re gearing up for some battles coming in the playoffs.”
Irving has missed 12 games in 2018-19. The Celtics are 10–2 without their All-Star point guard. They reached the Eastern Conference Finals in May 2018 despite Irving's absence.
The Duke product is averaging 23.9 points and a career-high seven assists per game in 2018-19. He reached the NBA Finals three times with the Cavaliers, winning the championship in 2016.
Boston enters Friday night fifth in the East at 43–29. The Celtics are 5.5 games ahead of No. 6 Detroit and four games back of No. 3 Philadelphia. They are likely to face the Pacers in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
The Celtics have 10 games left in the regular season. They will face the Hornets at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte on Saturday.