Kenny Smith believes that this is the best level that Kyrie Irving has played at, all through his 10-year tenure in the NBA.
The tandem between Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant was seen to be too much of a ball-dominant big 3 to work on paper. However, nearly 40 days after the Harden trade, the Brooklyn Nets boast the best offense in the league and have shown flashes of being a capable defensive team.
This is in large part due to James Harden and Kyrie Irving coming out in favor of ‘switching roles’ on the team. Harden is now the de facto point guard of the team, racking up career highs in assists, while Kyrie Irving slid down to the shooting guard position.
It was rumored that Kyrie Irving wouldn’t be happy playing a potential third fiddle to Harden and Durant. But that hasn’t been the case one bit. Irving’s numbers haven’t dropped since the Harden trade and he’s been able to score 25+ on any given night on 19 field goal attempts per game.
Kenny Smith says this is Kyrie Irving at his best since entering the NBA
Kyrie Irving has been a star in this league ever since getting drafted in 2011. It was the prospect of playing alongside Kyrie that attracted LeBron James back to Cleveland back in 2014.
He’s currently averaging a career-best in points per game at 27.7 while shooting an efficient 53%. He’s also making 43% of his shots from beyond the arc. Irving’s play is grounds for an All-Star starter selection, while also getting praise from Kenny Smith.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 19, 2021
“He’s playing lights out this year. This is his best year I’ve seen him play for me as a fan and as an analyst. This is his best year, his most compelling year.”
Kyrie Irving has refined his game to a higher degree this season, polishing his mid-range. He’s still as crafty as ever when attacking the rim. He has also been knocking down the 3 at a consistent clip this season.
It will be interesting to see how his game alongside Kevin Durant and James Harden translates in the playoffs.