“It’s not even close”: Kyrie Irving gets Andre Iguodala vote over Stephen Curry in clutch moments

Clutch performances are some of the best basketball performances for basketball fans and Kyrie Irving is often known as one of the most clutch players of all time. In his time, the star has knocked down insane shots with a few seconds to spare.

Former Warriors superstar Andre Iguodala holds Kyrie’s ability to perform in the clutch over a very reputed teammate of his from the Golden State Warriors.

Iguodala declares Kyrie Irving winner in clutch battle against Stephen Curry

There is no doubt that Kyrie Irving is one of the best ball-handlers in the league. His ball-handling capabilities, combined with his ability to knock down shots fluently, set him apart as one of the best options in the dying moments of a battle.

Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving is one of the best clutch players in the league via Getty Images

That being said, Kyrie has a long resume of clutch shots and performances that NBA fans cherish. Perhaps the most memorable one of them all is the superstar’s dagger in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, the shot that sealed the deal for the mesmerizing Cleveland Cavaliers. With just around a minute on the clock, Kyrie dribbled slowly around the court, eyeing a mismatch in defense. Eventually, Stephen Curry took on the challenge of guarding the hungry Irving.

It was the perfect mismatch for Kyrie to orchestrate his play. Irving beautifully dribbled ahead, pushing Curry back and Irving moved swiftly to the side to knock down a very high-arcing three-pointer. The shot changed NBA history and made the Cleveland Cavaliers the first team in NBA history to comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals. Witnessing Kyrie Irving’s antics firsthand, former Warriors star Andre Iguodala was committed in his decision to choose Kyrie as one of the hardest players to guard in the clutch.

Kyrie Irving
The game-changing shot from Kyrie Irving via USA Today Sports

Iguodala said, “Kyrie Irving — it’s not even close. For the last-second shot, I’m going with Kyrie. You’re talking about fear factor at any given moment or for that moment, I’m going with Kyrie.” He added, “I mean, with Steph, I think he’s shown at least proven to teams that you can double him and if you could just try to get the ball out of his hands, then I guess that’s that’s the way to combat him but with Kyrie, he’s just so good — you can’t get the ball out of his hands. Allen Iverson said Kyrie was the best ballhandler in NBA history and I’ve been told that I was crazy for saying that. But Kyrie, you talk about fear factor? You ask anybody in the league, that’s a scary guy to see.”

Iguodala’s educated opinion comes after multiple fierce battles with Kyrie Irving, which have haunted the former for sure.

Kyrie Irving vs Steph Curry clutch stat comparison shows different picture

Just like Kyrie Irving, another player in the NBA who is considered to be one of the best players in the clutch is Stephen Curry whose limitless range and incredible shot selection make him a complete monster as the game clock winds down. While Iguodala opted for Irving, citing a fear factor, the statistics give NBA fans insight into the debate.

Kyrie Irving
Irving has a large number of clutch shots in his career via Getty Images

Taking a closer look at the metrics, it is visible to the naked eye how Stephen Curry closely edges out Kyrie Irving as a statistically better clutch player. According to the numbers, Curry has taken 291 shots to take the lead in the final minute and has converted 110 of them, equating to a percentage of 37.8%. Meanwhile, based on the same metric, Irving has made 68 shots of the 160 shots he has taken, equating to a percentage of 42.5%.

Similarly, in the final minute, Curry has taken 170 three-pointers and made 53 of those shots, while Irving has taken just 78 three-pointers and made 28 of them. According to the NBA, clutch time is defined as the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime when the score is within five points. This season, Curry has been completely carrying the Warriors and has scored 165 points in clutch time in comparison to Kyrie’s 49 points in clutch time.

Regardless of the statistics, Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry have both established themselves as extremely reliable options in the clutch, cementing their legacy as some of the best players in the final few minutes of the game.

Caleb Mathew

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Feel free to reach out to me at @calebmathewww on Instagram.


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