It seems at this point that the race for the MVP is between Lebron James and James Harden. Is there a chance for a guy like Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving to sneak into the ballots?
Theoretically speaking, Kyrie Irving has a shot. After the trade, there were some doubters that thought Irving wasn’t the guy to lead this team to the future. When Gordon Hayward’s season ended in the first game, the doubters doubled. After a loss the next game to the Bucks, Kyrie and the Boston Celtics went on a 16 game winning streak, beating a ton of tough competition over the stretch.
By the Numbers
Throughout the regular season (before the knee injury, obviously), Kyrie Irving was a very efficient scorer, averaging 24.4 points per game at a 49.1 percent clip. His stats were some of the best of his career. Also, according to the trend of his career, this was the most efficient scoring year he has had. Uncle Drew was really the engine behind the Celtics’ offense.
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Irving was in the top 10 in PER (Player Efficiency Rating) this season, with a score of 25. Quite simply, he has been one of the more efficient scorers of the decade. Efficiency speaks volumes, especially since the league values stats now more than they ever have.
As far as a volume of points, Irving didn’t produce anything mind-boggling. He only hit 40+ points three times. Does this tell the whole story? No, of course not. The Celtics do not benefit when Kyrie has to score 40-50 percent of their points that night. That’s how the team is. His play speaks to the style of play that Boston endorses. That speaks volumes. This increases values.
I’m not saying that Kyrie Irving is the best option for MVP, but look at the season that the Celtics had without Gordon Hayward and with an injury bug during the second half of the season. Irving was the main reason why the Boston’s offense stayed afloat. This team will be going somewhere, and that will be because of their MVP, Kyrie Irving.
This season, even if your MVP is Harden or Lebron, it’d be criminal not to recognize that Uncle Drew really turned it up when it was needed most.