Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving just continues to impress.
The All-Star guard has averaged 35.7 points per night in his last three games, all wins for the Cavaliers.
And in the team’s thrilling 99-98 win over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night, Irving made the biggest plays of the night and one of the most clutch plays you will see from any NBA player this season.
The Cavaliers had battled with the Raptors all night, and were down by two points with less than 10 seconds to play. Coming out of a timeout, Irving walked the ball up the floor, which seemed odd at the time. Conventional wisdom dictates that the team would push the ball up the floor quickly to get as good of a look at the basket as quickly as possible so that if the initial shot does not go in the team has time to get the rebound and put up a second shot.
Also, with Irving being able to drive as well as he can, it would have made sense to have him take his defender off the dribble and go to the rim. Or, Irving could have used a screen to get himself open so that he could drive and then shoot or kick the ball out to a another shooter if the defense collapsed on him.
Instead, Irving took his time bringing the ball up the floor, and then pulled up a few feet in front of the three-point line and then nailed the game winning shot. It was pure clutch and pure Irving.
The kid seems to live for these moments, and he is already one of the best fourth quarter players in the league.
Head Coach Byron Scott said after the game that he told Irving to take the three-pointer for the win on the last play. Scott has asked Irving to be more aggressive over the last three games, and that attitude has paid off for the Cavaliers.
In the Cavaliers win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night, Irving scored 35 points on 12 for 17 shooting. He also shot 9 for 9 from the free throw line, ripped down five rebounds, handed out two assists and had two steals.
In the Saturday night win in Toronto, Irving scored 32 points while shooting 13 for 26. He was an outstanding 3 for 5 from behind the three-point line, and also passed out five assists and had four rebounds.
Along with the big numbers, he also makes spectacular plays. He has a great ability get to the rim and finish, and he knows how to score in big moments. No moment has been as big this year as the game-winning three-point shot to beat the Raptors.
The Cavaliers have struggled so far this season, but it is great to see the team finally string together three wins in a row. It is also a treat to watch Irving playing for the Wine and Gold. He is a special player, and he is going to lead the Cavaliers to a lot more wins in the years to come.