Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward make their preseason debuts as members of the Boston Celtics, and each put on a bit of a show in only one half of action.
The Celtics defeated the Charlotte Hornets, 94-82. Irving finished with nine points and three assists before taking a seat on the bench for the final two quarters, and Hayward went for five points and five boards.
Irving even threw down a slam off the dribble — not exactly something for which he had been known during his first six seasons with Cleveland.
“It was awesome man,” Irving told Boston reporters. “Beautiful to be a part of.”
Irving and Hayward started alongside Al Horford, Aron Baynes and Jaylen Brown. Baynes is also new to the team this season.
Meanwhile, Celtics coach Brad Stevens decided to move guard Marcus Smart to reserve, and Smart later told reporters he’s just fine with the role.
Irving arrived in a trade for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and some draft picks, and Hayward came from the Utah Jazz via free agency.
If Tuesday was an indication, the Celtics should be an exciting team — but clearly a team that may need some time, considering all the new men in uniform. Just four players (Horford, Smart, Brown and Terry Rozier) return from last year.