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Kyrie Irving is one of the most popular players in the NBA: a human highlight machine, an ankle-breaker, a buzzer-beater. He's Uncle Drew!
But he has not been very good this season; in fact, he's regressed quite a bit.
Coming into Friday night, Irving's win shares per 48 rating had dropped from .125 last year to .054 this year, putting him at 136 among the 164 players who have at least 400 minutes this season, per Basketball Reference.
But nothing could prepare the world for the egg Irving laid in Friday night's loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Irving scored zero points, missing all nine of his field-goal attempts and all three of his free throws.
After the game, Irving didn't lack for confidence.
Per Jason Llyod of the Akron Beacon Journal:
I’m not shooting the best this year, but I’m getting the shots that I want and that’s all you can ask for. You can look back and try to fix things, but at the end of the day I play off instincts. Sometimes I’m out there thinking too much, but you’ve just got to play basketball. The confidence level has to remain the same for myself and my teammates.
Confidence is all well and good, but the way Irving has been playing this year, a little bit more introspection might be in order. Something clearly isn't right.