Kyrie changed his mindset on route to a statement victory over the Toronto Raptors.
All season long, Kyrie Irving has been accused of thwarting his team's ball movement. But on Friday night, Kyrie did everything in his power to put a wrench "on that trend," by dropping 43 points in a virtuoso performance over their bitter rivals, the Toronto Raptors. LeBron James even found it in himself to congratulate his ex-partner in crime, for a superlative performance which accounted for 23 points in the final dozen minutes of play.
A win over the Toronto Raptors was as much a morale boost to Kyrie Irving as it was to his teammates. Naturally, Kyrie's rumblings where he lamented fitting into "ball-sharing" system were met with bemusement. And with player performances dominated the headlines, it was as if Kyrie star power had become obsolete in the eyes of the public. The people had spoken, they wanted the ball in Jayson Tatum's hands, but even he, appears to be slumping out the gate, as do many NBA players in their sophomore campaign.
To his credit, Kyrie Irving did play a "team game" on Friday night, finishing with 11 assists on route to a 123-116 overtime win. He spoke to the media to the media after the game, offering his account of what inspired him to lead the charge.
"It's just not too often during the regular season you get to have games like this," Irving said. "So you want to take full advantage of them. They're a great test for your team on both ends of the basketball floor."