By Saboke Masaki
Thumbnail Photo Courtesy of Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE Via Getty Images
On Monday, Brooklyn’s all-star shooting guard, Kyrie Irving became the ninth player in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) history to average at least 50% from the field, 40% from 3-point range and 90% from the free-throw line. He finished the season with 50.6%, 40.2% and 92.2% splits.
Kyrie Irving has long been one of the league’s most dynamic and versatile scorers; this latest achievement further cements his impact on the game. To put this in context, the only other players to accomplish this feat are Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Mark Price, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Malcolm Brogdon. To join this exclusive company, Irving had to be near perfect from three-point range in Monday’s game against his old team, the Cavaliers.
He was, in fact, perfect making all three of his attempts from behind the arc. He also led the league in mid-range field goal percentage shooting a ridiculous 54.5%. “His work ethic, how he cares about his teammates, how he approaches the game every single day is the reason why he can go out there and do something so remarkable as 50-40-90,” superstar teammate Kevin Durant (and fellow 50/40/90 club member) said.
“We almost expect that from Kyrie, and that shows how great he is. Welcome to the club.” “Remarkable player, remarkable accomplishment and really proud that I could see it in person”, said Nets head coach Steve Nash after the game. This is a potentially much needed impetus for the Brooklyn Nets who go into this year’s postseason with championship aspirations. Brooklyn’s big three- Durant, Irving and James Harden- have all missed time but are now healthy just in time for the playoffs.
The Nets will face the winner of the play-in matchup between the Celtics and Wizards. After this, they will clash with the winner of the Bucks-Heat series in round two before getting to the conference finals. That is, of course, if the team is able to overcome its defensive deficiencies.