Why Not Kyrie For MVP?

Kyrie Irving vs. Jae Crowder” by Erik Drost is licensed under CC BY 2.0

After defeating the Atlanta Hawks 110-99, the Boston Celtics move to 15-2, winning their 15th straight game! On almost every good team, there’s a player who makes everything go. For the Celtics, that player is Kyrie Irving. There’s no questioning that Kyrie Irving is the best player on this Celtics team.

When Kyrie Irving was traded, a lot of people questioned whether he could really lead a team. There were even more questions after an 0-2 start to the season, but after 15 straight wins, Irving is showing us all that he’s more than capable of being the star in Boston.

As the star of the team who currently has the best record in the league, wouldn’t you think he’d get more MVP consideration? Yes it’s still very early, but I’ve heard MVP talk about Antetokounmpo, James Harden, and several other stars, all while hardly hearing anything about Kyrie Irving for MVP at all.

Perhaps the reason why Kyrie isn’t getting as much MVP consideration is because his numbers aren’t flashy. He’s averaging 20.9 points, 5.3 assists, and 3.3 rebounds. Those numbers don’t exactly scream MVP. Since 2007, no MVP has averaged less than 23.8 points per game. The last player to win the award who averaged less points per game was Steve Nash in 2005 (15.5) and 2006 (18.8). Going all the way back to 1987, no MVP winning point guard has averaged less than 6.7 assists per game.

Among those low numbers, Kyrie is also having one of his worst shooting years, averaging close to his lowest percentage in field goals and three pointers. Kyrie Irving’s numbers to this point in the season may not be MVP worthy, but his play and leadership definitely are.

Kyrie Irving is still a young player, being only 25 years old. There aren’t many players on this team older than him. Even at a young age, Kyrie is having a huge impact on young players like second year player Jaylen Brown and rookie Jason Tatum. The confidence level of these two very young players has really impressed me, and I have to think Kyrie Irving has something to do with that. He knows what it’s like to be a high draft pick and to have high expectations. His experience only makes things easier for these two young stars.

Kyrie Irving is clearly the best player on this Boston Celtics team, and the expectations are still sky high for him. As long as Kyrie is Kyrie, the expectations will be high. He wanted to be the focal point, and that’s what he got. They say you should be careful what you wish for. Well, Kyrie was careful, because he sure is living up to expectations.

Irving was out for a couple of games against the Hornets and Raptors, in which the Celtics still won. Does that mean he’s not that important to the team? Not at all. It means the Celtics are an all around good team with a good system. While the Celtics can still win without Kyrie, they need him if they want to be true contenders. Without Kyrie, this is just another team who will lose to LeBron in the playoffs. With Kyrie, this team can beat anyone. They proved that last night when they came back to defeat the reigning champion Golden State Warriors.

Forget all the stats for a moment, but instead focus on what this team is doing with Kyrie as their leader. Is anyone more important to their team? You could say LeBron, but the Cavs aren’t 15-2. You could say anyone, but they’re not doing what Kyrie is doing in Boston. Unfortunately for Kyrie, winning MVP is usually based off your stats rather than what you’re helping your team do. Even though that’s true and it’s still very early in the season, I’d say Kyrie Irving is looking like a pretty good fit for MVP right now.

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