I recently talked about how scary Russell Westbrook must be to guard. A couple days after that post, Kyrie Irving went off for 57 points.
It’s not so much as Westbrook’s skill set (which is excelleent) as much as his unrelenting play that is exhausting even for the most strong-willed players.
Where Russell Westbrook will kill you with a combination of athleticism, skill and anger, Kyrie Irving will keep you guessing simply because his nearly perfected his offensive game. Irving’s combination of best-in-class handles, spacing, balance, touch around the rim and excellent shooting make him a nightmare if you are so unlucky to be guarding him at any point. Westbrook is a good ball handler and above average shooter, but Irving is on another level in those categories. As mentioned he battered the San Antonio Spurs with 57 points
It’s one thing to do against Tony Parker, but it’s another to do it against renowned stoppers in Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. It’s one of those nights when you find an extreme rhythm; where every shot is more feel than it is mechanics. Kyrie, already a good shooter, latched onto a wavelength late in the game and couldn’t miss: hitting threes that were off-balanced, defenders crowding him, and off the dribble.
Here’s all the highlights from Irving’s career night: