Basketball

Has Kyrie Irving’s Great Season Been Overlooked?

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Kyrie Irving has been having a great season, its as simple as that.

It feels as if some people forgot just how good Irving is because of what happens away from the basketball court. However, Irving’s great season reminds everyone he is one of the best point guards to play the game.

Irving is averaging 28.3 points per game while shooting 53.5% from the field. Last year he averaged 27.4 points per game and 6.4 assists although he only played 20 games.

Everyone has always known Irving is one of the best scorers in the league and has been for a while. But the surprising thing is that he’s been able to maintain such a great level of scoring whilst playing with James Harden and Kevin Durant.

Many people would have said the Nets were better off keeping their strong bench rather than trading for Harden. A big factor in this being the question of how Irving and Harden would fit together.

Harden has taken a step back from scoring, it seems, and allowed Irving to flourish. Harden is the primary ball-handler, and Irving now looks like a pure scorer as a two-guard. The Nets may be getting the most out of Irving utilizing him like this.

Whilst Harden is only averaging 24.1 points he is also averaging 12 assists per game and is likely to lead the league in assists. The Nets seem to have found their balance on offense, and Irving has been incredible because of it.

The Best Games So Far of Irving’s Great Season

So far, the highlight of Irving’s great season was against the Los Angeles Clippers in a clash of championship contenders. He went 15-23 from the field (65.2%) and 6-8 (75%) from the 3-point line.

Irving put on a clinic, getting off whatever shot he wanted and being efficient whilst doing it.

The best game of Irving’s great season

Irving is one of the most difficult guys in the league to defend. He can do it all scoring-wise. He’s shooting 44.7% from the 3-point range and 53.5% from the field. Irving may have the best handles in the league, he can use them to get whatever he wants on offense no matter how good the defender.

He can step it back for a three, midrange, fade for the midrange, blow by his defender to finish at the rim, you name it. Offensively there is nothing he can’t do.

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After his great game against the Clippers, Irving said: “We know that they are in contention for meeting us down the line, so we wanted to come out and make an impression.

“I felt like we did that.”

Another remarkable game from Irving’s great season was when the Nets faced the Miami Heat for the first time. Irving dropped 28 points, 7 assists while shooting 58.8% from the field.

Irving dropped 15 points in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory. Although the Heat team was by no means at full strength, it doesn’t take away from Irving’s game.

With one minute and 46 seconds left Irving hit a big 3-pointer to put the Nets up by four. He also made it an eight-point lead with 51 seconds left with a layup.

Why has Irving’s great season been overlooked

One of the biggest storylines the Nets faced with Irving was whether they could trust him to deliver. These criticisms came from Irving missing seven straight games, and most important, head coach Steve Nash not knowing anything about his absence initially.

People speculated whether or not Nets can trust Irving to be there when they need him, and trading for Harden had something to do with this. However, it is clear that Irving was going through personal issues he felt like he didn’t have to explain with the media.

Irving’s great season seems to be finally changing the narrative from his private and personal issues, to his game.

A lot has been made of Irving being a deep thinker, but to be honest, all these opinions of Irving and how he conducts himself off the court has nothing to do with his game and commitment to the Nets.

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Irving is elite at finishing at the rim

Irving shows he is fully committed to the team, focused on improving with the team and making their new ‘big three’ work. Irving’s great season looks like it will continue as the Nets will only get better and better.

They will be a big team in the playoffs with Irving playing a massive part.

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