Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr says it appears the Boston Celtics have emerged as the next team to beat in the Eastern Conference.
“It sure looks like Boston is the team of the future in the East, with the assets that they still have and their young talent and their coaching, and Kyrie [Irving] is amazing,” Kerr said after practice Tuesday.
The Celtics extended their winning streak to 13 straight games with Tuesday’s 109-102 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
In a potential NBA Finals preview Thursday at TD Garden, Boston will try to make it 14 straight when it takes on the Warriors for the first time this season.
Irving, who played his first six seasons in Cleveland before coming to Boston in an offseason trade that sent Isaiah Thomas to the Cavs, has been a catalyst for his new team.
He had a game-high 25 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in Tuesday’s win, bringing his season averages to 20.6 points, 5.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds.
Boston is the first team in NBA history to secure 12 straight victories after losing the first two games of the season.
Kerr said he understands these Celtics are a different team, but that he’s excited for the opportunity to gauge where both teams are thus far.
Aware of the inevitable “media frenzy” that will come with the Celtics’ winning streak as well as Thursday’s showdown with the defending champion Warriors, Irving said he was “looking forward to all that hoopla.”