During this impressive win streak, the Boston Celtics have many players to thank but most notably it is point guard Kyrie Irving.
At the start of the season, doubters flocked at the opportunity to call Irving a failure which included myself and his inability to make an immediate impact would automatically make him a disappointment.
But ever the heckling by the fan which triggered an emotional response from the point guard, his performance on the court has been among the league’s best.
During the 12 game winning streak that the Celtics have been on, Irving has had over 20 points in eight games which comes to an average of 22.5 points per game in this stretch.
His handling of the basketball has been exceptional and you can look no further than their matchup against Lonzo Ball’s Los Angeles Lakers to deduce his superiority in this factor.
Backup point guard for the Celtics Shane Larkin is dumbfounded by these skills and told espn.com what he thinks about the former all-star’s ball handling.
“It’s the best I’ve ever seen. Like, it looks like he’s losing it, but he knows exactly what he’s doing,” Larkin said. “He’s literally going horizontally across the court and he’s tapping [the ball] so guys can’t get it. Then when he finally has that opening, he gets back in control, and he makes another over and another move and he’s at the basket laying it up.”
His elevating performance on the court, also helps the others around him. Center Aron Baynes stated that if Irving plays well, it makes room for others to play and contribute in a big way.
“That’s what [Irving] does,” Baynes said in an interview with espn.com. “He’s such a great creator offensively, and he draws so much attention that I just try to set him a screen and give him as much space as I can to do what he does. The exciting thing about it is, we can get so much better with that as well. Myself and him together working, I know there’s a lot of improvement. He just draws so much attention from the defense that he gets us so wide open and makes our job that much easier.”
Irving has proven many including me wrong in the way he can handle himself away from LeBron James’ shadow. If his play during this 12 game winning streak has shown us anything. It’s that he can lead a team and elevate others on the court.