Kyrie Irving doesn't think the young players on the Celtics are ready to win a championship yet.
“The young guys don’t know what it takes to be a championship level team," Irving told reporters following Boston's 105-103 loss to the Magic on Saturday, via Yahoo Sports. "What it takes every day. And if they think it is hard now, what do they think it will be like when we’re trying to get to the finals?”
The Celtics are 25-17 this season through 42 games. They were 32-10 through 42 last year and that was without Gordon Hayward. Boston's players and coach Brad Stevens have been forthcoming this year: they are not as good as they think they are.
The team remains one of the deepest teams on paper in the NBA. They're deep at guard with Irving, Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. They have depth at forward with Hayward and Jayson Tatum. They're even deep with their big men with Al Horford, Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes when he's healthy.
Boston should have a better record this year than it did last year, but it doesn't. Irving isn't happy about where the team is and knows how they can get better.
"Experience," he said, via NBCS Boston. "It's the best thing I can say is experience. We're lacking it, and because of that we have a lot of learning to do. So we have a lot of ground to make up in that aspect. It gets tough. When it gets hard you've got to think."
He continued: "These are the things I don't think some of my teammates have faced just every single day. It's not easy to be great. So the things you're doing, that you've done your entire career of being able to coast by in certain situations...being on a championship ball club, you can't get away with that."