When he only thinks about basketball and concentrates on work, Kyrie Irving remains one of the best players in the world. The defenses of the Jazz and the Warriors can attest to this as they only allowed 48 and 38 points respectively! All with unnerving ease… and never forgetting to let others play and trust them.
“The most important thing is not to let your confidence crumble. It’s easy to miss a few shots and then have a slouch. I don’t want that, I don’t want that” explained Kyrie Irving after the victory in San Francisco. “I told you that I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the first choice, the second choice or the main one. This is a message for everyone: first option, second option, third option, it doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t matter who has the ball as long as they are aggressive and it’s the best shot for our team. Objectively, it’s a collective sport, and it’s about winning matches, not about determining a person that everyone will bring every night… It’s a collective attitude, a collective atmosphere and acceptance of the results. »
Good speech from the former leader of the Cavaliers and the Celtics, able to play soloists if necessary, but also to serve Royce O’Neale for a 3-point victory. ‘Kyrie’s going to the circle, he’s scoring hard shots’ testifying to the latter. “At that moment he penetrated, two players defended him, and he found me. He had confidence in me, and this confidence allowed me to score. »
Kyrie Irving also leads by example on defense
That confidence is important in Kevin Durant’s absence, and Kyrie Irving seems to have taken the right attitude toward his teammates.
“The Warriors did a great job of staying on top of me, defending physically and making things difficult for me” Kyrie Irving acknowledges. “I felt that my teammates would have a lot of good opportunities if I brought two or three players. Royce was open, and I felt that was the best shot for us. So I gave him the ball, I trusted it was up to him to enter it and luckily it entered. »
Kevin Durant was gone, Kyrie Irving took over his responsibilities, and he probably didn’t expect to be with him. Even better, he also set an example when it came to slowing down Stephen Curry, and his four fouls showed real defensive activity.
“We just want them to be uncomfortable all night, especially this 4th quarter” he continued. “We want to make things complicated for them, with different matchups and pride on defense. There are nights when we really have to rely on our composure and defensive pressure to carry us to victory. It’s not going to be a pretty sight, I’ve been saying this since the beginning of the season… but if we’re solid and focused on defense, we give ourselves a chance to win every game. »
On arrival, a complete game: 38 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds on 12 of 22 shots, including 5 of 7 from 3-pointers.