If I instructed you Kyrie Irving was cooking on the court docket final evening, you’d most likely say, “OK, what’s new,” proper? However Kyrie was on a completely totally different stage in Tuesday evening’s 150-108 win towards the Orlando Magic, going for 60 factors in solely 35 minutes of recreation motion. Irving had 41 within the first half, and at one level, I assumed he might strategy Kobe Bryant’s 81-point recreation towards the Toronto Raptors in 2006.
In scoring 60 factors, Irving additionally stumbled into some historical past alongside the best way. His greatest buddy Kevin Durant posted a 53-point recreation in Brooklyn’s earlier outing towards the Knicks at Madison Sq. Backyard. This was the primary time in NBA historical past that teammates scored 50-plus in back-to-back video games. This monstrous exhibiting from Irving got here one evening after Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Cities’ personal 60-point recreation in a win over San Antonio. This marked the primary time since 1962 that two gamers scored 60 factors on consecutive nights.
As I discussed, it felt like Kyrie was going to problem Kobe’s document 81-point recreation the best way he roasted the Magic. Irving was scorching as a pot of grits. It wasn’t solely the variety of factors he scored; it was how Kyrie executed his wizardry. Irving was so environment friendly on this recreation it was downright baffling. Irving scored his 60 on simply 31 photographs tried. He made 20 photographs from the sector general whereas additionally making 8 of 12 from three-point vary. It doesn’t get way more environment friendly than that from a small guard within the NBA.
Though Irving’s nonetheless solely a part-time participant, groups within the Jap Convention needs to be keeping track of the place the Nets land within the postseason. Due to his part-time standing, Kyrie needs to be more energizing than anybody within the playoffs. So, we might even see a pair extra of those great scoring shows from Irving within the playoffs, whether or not it occurs in the course of the play-in event or throughout a seven-game sequence. Kyrie is harmful, and the East needs to be on discover after Tuesday evening.
Irving might miss as much as three video games in a first-round playoff sequence if the Nets make it via the play-in. Kevin Durant is nice sufficient to get the Nets not less than a few video games towards any of the highest contenders within the east. Brooklyn would match up with Miami, Milwaukee, or Philadelphia within the first spherical. I believe KD might probably get the Nets two and definitely one recreation as a minimum from any of the highest three groups within the East in a sequence. Then the Nets get Kyrie’s explosiveness alongside Durant and presumably Ben Simmons (hopefully) by then on the highway. Even with out Simmons, the Nets are a scary opponent for anybody within the East.
Don’t sleep on the Nets. Brooklyn might come out and upset one or two of the highest groups within the east. Bear in mind the ‘99 Knicks workforce led by Latrell Sprewell that made it to the NBA Finals? They had been the No. 8 seed within the Jap Convention that yr and didn’t have practically as a lot expertise because the Nets. And that was with a previous his prime, usually injured Patrick Ewing that yr. So, it might occur for the Nets. They’ll want a couple of breaks (just like the Bucks & Suns final yr) alongside the best way, nevertheless it might occur.