Lonzo Ball is one of the top wing defenders in the league today. The newest Bulls guard explains how Kyrie Irving is one of the toughest players he has ever guarded.
Kyrie Irving is undoubtedly the best ball-handler in today’s league. In fact, only a few set of players in the history of the NBA have handles as shifty and smooth as Kyrie’s. There is virtually no defender whose ankles “Uncle Drew” hasn’t broken. And because of his surreal ability to handle the ball so flawlessly, it has enabled Kyrie to be one of the most successful guards in league history.
Because of Kai’s great ability to handle the rock so fluently, he has been able to be a dynamic scorer, ever since he joined the league as a young 19-year-old. And in the 10 seasons till now, the Nets superstar has averaged 22.8 points, 5.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds on an incredible 47/39/88 shooting split.
Several top defenders have gotten their ankles broken while trying to guard Irving. Lonzo Ball, one of the better wing defenders in today’s league, is just one of the many stars who has been crossed up and handed several buckets by Kyrie.
“Kyrie Irving is deadly because of his unstoppable crossover and quickness”: Lonzo Ball
Back in 2019, Lonzo Ball was asked to mention the five toughest players he had ever guarded. Alongside Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant, James Harden and DeMar DeRozan, Zo even mentioned Kyrie Irving. The 6-foot-6 swingman explained in his “The Players’ Tribune” article:
“Kyrie has the best handle in the league. But the thing that makes him so tough to guard is that he doesn’t have any tendencies. You can’t gameplan for him and say, O.K., this is his strength, so I’m gonna try and take that away. Nah. There is no one thing.
You can’t force Kyrie to do what you want him to do. Between his crossover — which is probably the most unstoppable in the league — and his quickness, he’s deadly, man. He can go left, he can go right, he can step back or he can go downhill right at you. He’s just got too many ways to get where he wants to go.
And he’s such an elite finisher. I mean, yeah, he can shoot, so you gotta respect that. But when he gets to the rim, his layup package is amazing — like, the way he spins the ball off the glass and can use the whole backboard. That’s how he can get the ball up over the bigs in the paint like he does. So even though he’s only like 6-foot-2, you rarely see him get his shot blocked, because he can put the ball up at so many different angles and still spin it towards the basket.
It’s just so tough to control the game with Kyrie. You really can’t force him into anything. He’s gonna get to his spot. You just have to meet him there and contest his shot as best you can.”