NEW YORK — The Celtics trailed the Magic by 2 points with 2.9 seconds left in Saturday’s game when coach Brad Stevens drew up a play during a timeout. Point guard Kyrie Irving became animated as he said something to Stevens, and on Monday morning, Stevens acknowledged that Irving wanted to see a small change in the play.
But Stevens said he has no issue with his players speaking up in situations like that, even in tense moments late in the game.
“I’m always listening,” Stevens said. “I think it’s important to be a listener. Like, the other day we had something drawn up, but I think Ky felt more comfortable doing something different, and he expressed it in a good way, and we made a small tweak.
“We had a couple of great options on that action, and [Jayson Tatum] had a great look. And that’s good. I love that. I want feedback. I think that’s good.
“If guys are going to go out and make plays, ultimately, they’ve got to be comfortable doing that, so that’s part of it. I think a coach’s job is to ultimately have a plan, but be able to listen to make sure everybody feels good about it.”
Tatum’s game-tying 18-footer missed, and Irving was quite frustrated that he had not taken the final shot. He threw his palms in the air, questioned Gordon Hayward about the inbounds pass, then expressed his frustrations about the team in his postgame media session.
Monday, he offered an explanation for his criticism.
“When you win, you want to taste it again,” he said. “I never want to come from a place where I don’t want to sound like or maybe feel like I don’t want to win a championship.
“Sometimes I may come off and say things — never to question my teammates in public like that ever again, but I just want to win so bad.
“I came from a place where I asked for a trade and I come in here and believe in this organization and I want these young guys to be successful. In order to do that, we’ve all got to be on the same page and have that mind-set that, a championship or nothing, and that can get the best of me at times.”
Irving missed Monday’s game against the Nets with a right quad contusion he suffered during Saturday’s loss to the Magic.
“I went up with Aaron Gordon and came down kind of awkward on my leg,” he said. “I’m just glad I do enough work on my legs, honestly. It could have been bad. I’m just glad I came down the way I did, just isolated to my quad.”
Irving said he plans to play against the Raptors Wednesday. Guard Marcus Smart has an illness and was listed as doubtful against the Nets.
The Celtics recalled P.J. Dozier from the Maine Red Claws for some backcourt depth.
Center Aron Baynes, who missed his 15th consecutive game due to a hand injury, is expected to be evaluated by a doctor in Boston on Tuesday and could be cleared for the next step in his recovery.
“I don’t know what he’ll have to do to progress back,” Stevens said. “He might have to play a full practice, which would be a challenge, because we don’t get much time to do that. It may be 3 on 3, it may be a game where it’s restricted, I have no idea yet. We’ll talk to trainers tomorrow after he goes to the doctor if he gets even semi-clearance.”