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NBA news: Kyrie Irving makes Boston Celtics revelation ahead of Hornets clash | Other | Sport

The Celtics were one of the favourites to challenge back-to-back NBA Champions Golden State Warriors this year, but have slumped so far and are just 9-7 after the opening month.

ESPN pundit Stephen A. Smith even claimed that if the Celtics fail to make the NBA finals, their season will be a failure.

But things have not gone well for the young Celtics team this season, and they have suffered disappointing defeats against Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, and Indiana Pacers.

Irving has played 15 games so far this season, averaging 22 points-per-game.

Speaking with ESPN, Irving admitted that he and his team-mates have been suffering from the sky-high expectations this season.

“Whatever word you want to use,” he said, when asked if his team-mates were stressing.

“I just think that, for the amount of work that, like I said before, that guys put in, I think they have expectations for themselves, and I think that’s completely normal.

“Getting beaten down on [missing] shots or not being in the right spots.

“I think that we just have to find the happy balance between those two.

“Going on this early part of the regular season, teams are coming at us, so they’re expecting to make shots, they have a great rhythm.

“Then we get hit in the mouth a few times, and we just have to be able to respond.”

The Celtics are back in action on Monday night as they face the Charlotte Hornets.

Young star Gordon Hayward declared that the Celtics are up for the challenge of turning their season around, starting in Charlotte.

“It’s definitely a challenge, but the best teams in the league do it,” he said of playing twice in 24 hours.

“If that’s where we want to be, we have to be able to do that.”

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