Kyrie Irving is a high powered, cold blooded, offensive superstar. Known for getting buckets, Irving etched his name into NBA history last finals with arguably the biggest shot ever seen on the biggest stage.
We fall in love with his dazzling forays to the basket, or his ability to drop 50 on any given night, but an area Irving has significantly improved without enough recognition, is his production on the defensive end.
Irving took the challenge on two-time and unanimous MVP Steph Curry last finals, in where Irving didn’t just outplay him offensively, but comprehensively shut him down on the defensive side of the ball as well.
Looking back on Irving’s career so far, despite him not being known as a defender by trade, Uncle Drew has been surprisingly consistent in this area throughout his career in Cleveland.
Going through the years, Irving has averaged either 1.1 or 1.5 per game for steals and 0.3 and 0.4 for blocks per contest in every season.
2011-12 19 CLE 51 51 30.5 1.1 0.4
2012-13 20 CLE 59 59 34.7 1.5 0.4
2013-14 21 CLE 71 71 35.2 1.5 0.3
2014-15 22 CLE 75 75 36.4 1.5 0.3
2015-16 23 CLE 53 53 31.5 1.1 0.3
Alex Sabri ·
Career 329 329 34.0 1.3 0.3
Irving continues to grow into his role as a leader for the Cavaliers. With that responsibility, Irving understands that he must play at a high level on both sides of the ball on a nightly basis. With Irving already making a conscious effort to get his teammates involved on the offensive end, the 24-year old will continue to buy in on the defensive end, and take the challenge when guarding the elite point guards every night in the association.