Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving's 22 points could not prevent a loss to the Orlando Magic. In this picture, Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics looks on during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, Oct. 16, 2018. Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Kyrie Irving believes the Boston Celtics have a target on their back and are learning to deal with the heavy expectations placed on them this season.

The Celtics fell to their second defeat this season after a 93-90 loss to the Orlando Magic at the TD Garden on Monday. Irving scored 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists, but was the only player to have a major impact for the home side as his contribution wasn't enough.

It means the Boston franchise are now 2-2 already and will need to perform much better if they are to live up to their expectations as the favorites in the Eastern Conference.

Many have them finishing as the No. 1 seed in the East while others even give them a chance of winning a first NBA championship since 2008, especially now that LeBron James is playing in the Western Conference.

For Irving and the rest of the Celtics, they are still getting used to that billing.

"We've had the target on our back and it takes some getting used to," Irving said after the loss. "It really does. I think that sometimes it is a little unfair of the expectations we have of our young guys and guys that have never been through things like this before where the expectations to play at a certain level every single night is demanding on you."

"Including myself, being on a team like this, it's a challenge for me to figure out where do I fit in all this and how do I lead this team the best way that I can with other great players," he said.

One way Irving is leading the team is with his defensive contribution.

In addition to his eight rebounds, the 26-year-old also recorded one block and two steals against the Magic and is hoping to continue being a presence on the defensive end of the floor.

“I just feel like I’m asking myself to do a lot more on the defensive end this year," Irving added. "I think the next 8-10 years – God willing I’m able to play that long — I want to take that challenge on that end and in order to do that."

"You have to be in phenomenal shape. I think that even for me, coming to the realization that I’ve coasted certain times on the defensive end throughout seasons and haven’t taken the challenge," he said.

The season is still very early however, and what is a stacked Celtics team will only get better as it continues, especially with Gordon Hayward continuing to get minutes while the youngsters like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown continue to develop.

The Celtics will face the Oklahoma City Thunder next at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Thursday night.

The Thunder are currently winless in the regular season and despite the return of Russell Westbrook from injury, saw their record go to 0-3 after a 131-120 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.