Miami Heat swingman Jimmy Butler gave five players that are toughest for him to guard in his post on The Players Tribune. The Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is the second on the list:
“Probably one of my favorite players to watch. He’s so shifty and crafty with his dribble, like he’s got the ball on a string. Crossover, behind-the-back, spin move, going right, going left – however he needs to do it, he always gets where he wants to go. And he’s so precise that you would think he practices all these different combinations of dribble moves. But he’s really just making it up as he goes along. It’s stupid.
And he toys with guys.
Like, he’ll have you beat, but instead of taking the bucket, he’ll pull it back and reset, like, No, no, no. Not yet. I’m not done. I got something else for you….
But there are so many other elements to his game, too. He can shoot the three. He’s a great passer. He can post guys up – he’s not gonna post me up. He’s too little. But he can post most guys. He’s incredible with both hands when it comes to finishing at the rim. He hits a lot of tough shots – floaters, fadeaways, contested shots, layups over bigs in the paint … any which way you want it, he can finish.
So when you talk about unstoppable guys in the league right now, Kyrie is definitely in that category,” Butler said of Irving.
This season, Irving is averaging 27.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 6.9 assists per game.