Links to the Present: March 8, 2012

March 8th, 2012 by Colin McGowan

“I sat on my couch last night feeling completely confident that he was going to score again after the Denver Nuggets regained a one-point lead in the final seconds. After watching Kyrie Irving just convert two three-point plays prior to that last opportunity, there was no doubt in my mind that he had one more in him. Not just one more shot, or one more basket, but one more winning play than the other guy’s got. However many plays that calls for. Just as soon as I felt this air of confidence fall over me, for what felt like the first time in my Cleveland sports fan life, he raced from one end of the court, to the other, and scored again.” [Brendan Bowers]

“He wanted a better effort, for his Cavs to take the fight to the opponent and to play with the same type of hard charging, aggressive effort the Cavs gave so many times throughout the first half of the season. Wednesday night at Denver, Byron Scott finally got it – with another huge assist from rookie Kyrie Irving. Irving’s driving basket with four seconds left gave the Cavs a 100-99 victory and the top overall pick in last summer’s draft his fourth game-winning basket of the season in a wild game that had eight lead changes in the final 3:17.” [Jason Lloyd]

“With 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Cleveland Cavaliers called a timeout to draw up what would presumably be the final play of the game, Scott’s team down one point to the host Denver Nuggets. Rather than moving the ball 47 feet — without repercussion — to half court, as afforded by the irrational NBA rulebook that says teams can inbound the ball from a point that they had not yet reached merely due to saving one of their time-stopping elements for the end of a game, Scott chose to inbound the ball from underneath his own basket.” [Scott Sargent]

“Irving separates himself because, in addition to his driving and passing, he shoots 48.3 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three-point range. Not only is he better than his peers from the field, he is more than nine percentage points better from three. Rose is obviously stronger and Rondo probably quicker, but defenses cannot sag off Irving, so he has extra room to penetrate.” [Lee Jenkins]

And here’s the Youtube video of Irving’s game-winning lay-in.