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Brad Stevens commends Golden State; Kyrie Irving wants a competitive all-star game

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Stevens and Irving spoke to the media on Friday after the team’s practice at the Auerbach Center.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

BRIGHTON - The Boston Celtics held practice at the Auerbach Center on Friday, where we heard from Brad Stevens, Kyrie Irving, and Al Horford. All of the attention naturally surrounded the recent all-star selections and Boston’s upcoming matchup with the Golden State Warriors. Stevens had only great things to say about the two-time defending World Champions, noting that they’ve been the cream of the crop for the last few years.

“Over the last few years they’ve been the standard for the whole NBA,” said Stevens. “But it’s not about style of play. It’s just that they’ve put together a great group that fits each other well, that plays great together, that has played great defense and great offense. You can’t emulate them, necessarily, because their guys are unique in what they do. You have to play to your strengths as a group.”

As far as the all-star game goes, Stevens said Irving’s sixth selection “amazing”. However he wouldn’t go as far to say that this he’s seen him play.

“I don’t think that’s fair to say that about him,” Stevens said about Irving. “He’s been so special for so long. I think he continuously gets better. ... It’s the same guy that gave us 41 in Game three of the playoffs a couple years ago, or game four. He’s an incredible player and hats off to him for getting another all-star game. Six all-star games by the time you’re 26 is a joke. It’s pretty special.”

Irving said he is “appreciative and grateful” for the opportunity to represent the Celtics in this year’s All-Star game. He doesn’t want a no-effort game, as Irving’s competitive side shined through.

“Going out there is just about competing and having fun,” said Irving. “I’m not a fan of the 198-198 games. It’s a waste of my time, but hopefully we get some competition where guys go at on another.”

The Celtics return to action on Saturday night at TD Garden when they face the Warriors at 8:30 PM EST.