Kyrie Irving lives for big moments. Whether it be battling back from a 3-1 deficit last season, to taking a shot with the championship on the line, or preventing the Cleveland Cavaliers from being swept with a massive 40 point performance in Game 4. His ability to deliver when the team needs him to has become one of his defining traits and helped make him so endearing to Cavs fans.
On Sunday, Irving was asked what goes into preparing for an elimination game. His response: “It’s a time to show everything you’re made of in those moments.”
For his career, Irving has been incredible in elimination games. While he’s only played in four, he averages 32.5 points, five rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals and oe block per game. His efficiency in these games has also been incredible, as he has shot 53 percent from the floor, 55 percent from three, and 95 percent from the free throw line.
When you take into consideration that all of these games have come in the NBA Finals against elite defenses, what he has done to this point seems even more impressive. While it’s unreasonable to expect him to continue performing at this level for the rest of his career in these situations, it’s clear that he isn’t one to shy away from big moments.
The Cavaliers will need more performances like game four if they are going to have any chance at coming back against the Warriors. A historic comeback is once again there for the taking, but it’ll take everything that this team has. And Kyrie’s continued success in those moments will be essential to a Cavs comeback.