Kyrie Irving’s play giving Nets plenty to think about when it comes to contract extension

When it comes time for the Nets and Kyrie Irving to focus on his future with the group, Saturday’s fourth-quarter efficiency will probably be simply one of many footnotes the guard will current as to why he is a useful weapon for Brooklyn. 

Of their ninth straight win over the Knicks, Irving put up 21 fourth-quarter factors and shot 8-for-15 for the ultimate 12 minutes of the sport as he helped fend off the Knicks. The truth is, Irving’s fourth-quarter dominance is simply about one of the best within the NBA. 

Irving is averaging 9.6 factors per recreation within the fourth, which is healthier than each LeBron James (8.8) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (8.2). It’s no secret how necessary that’s for the Nets to have a better like that on their roster, particularly whereas Kevin Durant is sidelined. 

“Being able to kind of as the game progresses, to understand what the team needs,” Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn stated about what has made Irving so good within the fourth. “What shot is needed, whether it’s a two whether it’s a drive, whether it’s a driving kick, whether it’s screening for Seth so Seth can turn the corner. Whether it’s pulling up early for a three-ball to ignite your team. I think he’s in a great position of what’s needed and he’s delivering the need. So give him a lot of credit for that.”

Irving talked about not wanting to mess with the rhythm of the staff within the fourth and simply discovering the fitting photographs to take. He credited the teammates round him for making it really easy for him to thrive in that surroundings, however the Nets coach additionally identified how Irving’s play helped construct up the arrogance of the staff in such an important second of the sport.

“There’s a comfort level that kind of permeates with the rest of the group. Like we’re going to get a quality possession right here,” Vaughn stated. “We’re gonna get a good shot right here and it’s probably going to go in. So there it relieves some of the stress that could happen at the end of the game with the other guys. I think that’s really the key of having dudes who can just get you a bucket at the end of the game.”

Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving, proper, drives previous Detroit Pistons’ Jaden Ivey throughout the first half of an NBA basketball recreation Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 in New York.AP Picture/Frank Franklin II

Irving has been that man for the Nets this season and with out Durant on the ground, he has turn out to be the offensive spearhead for Brooklyn. The purpose guard has solidified that over the previous 5 video games the place he has scored 48, 38, 30, 40 and most just lately 32 over the Knicks.

The celebrity is within the remaining yr of his contract and after all of the ups and downs throughout his tenure with the Nets his play is talking volumes proper now for Brooklyn to deliver him again. Irving is headed to the All-Star Recreation in a few weeks and will probably be a starter alongside Durant, if he does take part on this yr’s festivities.

It’s straightforward to see why the Nets have remained hesitant about committing to Irving past this season. His availability on the courtroom has been and concern in years previous and earlier this yr the staff suspended him for eight video games after he shared a hyperlink on his social media accounts of a movie that had antisemitic rhetoric in it.

Since then Irving has remained centered on basketball and the Nets have benefitted from it on the courtroom. He has already expressed by his agent a want to keep in Brooklyn long-term, however the Nets haven’t engaged in contract extension talks. 

However it will probably be laborious to proceed to push that matter down the highway if his play continues to keep on the stage it has been. And he has proven a way of satisfaction in of being the go-to man on the ground in large conditions.

I take quite a lot of satisfaction in simply the best way I method my days with my teammates, with the group, after all, we my household,” Irving stated. “But the way I approach this is really giving me the successes this season. Not being too high or too low, just being even-keeled. Just enjoying the journey. The wins and losses come and go, but the emotional maturity that you can learn from performances game to game is just as important as taking care of your body mentally and spiritually.”

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