Brad Stevens raves about Kyrie Irving’s off-the-ball play
In the last few seasons, Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving has developed the reputation for being one of the best scorers in the NBA.
Much of this has come in the way of creating his own shot off the dribble. However, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens stated on Saturday that he has been impressed by Irving’s ability to get open off the ball, according to Jay King of Mass Live.
“The one thing I would say is especially off the ball and his cutting, he has a burst that maybe even coaching against him as many times as we did, we didn’t recognize as easily,” Stevens said Saturday when asked what he’s learned about Irving as the guard’s coach. “His ability especially on backcuts to set up a cut – and often times he’s going to be overplayed because of who he is, but he has a burst on that initial movement that gets him open that’s pretty special.”
Irving’s ability to score in those situations has helped him become a more dangerous offensive player beyond his ability to break down defenders with his ball handling skills. The fact that Stevens recognizes this facet of his game could open up more scoring opportunities for the 25-year-old moving forward.
This may also allow for his teammates to get more involved in the offense due to opposing teams having to defend Irving more closely away from the ball. It is also evidence that he has continued to work on his offensive game to become a more well-round player.
With the Celtics continuing to roll along by becoming the first team in the league to win 20 games, Irving will play a huge part in determining how much success they experience this season.