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Nets' Kyrie Irving Wants to Enjoy 2021 Playoffs 'As If It's My Last'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 19, 2021

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Kyrie Irving is ready to enjoy the moment during the 2021 NBA playoffs.

"I just want to enjoy the ride," he said, per Matt Brooks of Nets Daily. "I just want to enjoy it as if it's my last."

Irving's Brooklyn Nets are awaiting their first-round opponent as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. They will play the winner of Tuesday's play-in game between the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards.

While the playoffs are nothing new for the Duke product, he also knows what it's like to have opportunities taken away from him at this point of the schedule.

He missed last year's postseason as a member of the Nets and the 2018 playoffs as a member of the Boston Celtics because of injuries. Those 2018 Celtics advanced to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers and may have realistically challenged for a title if Irving was healthy.

He also played just one game during the 2015 NBA Finals as a member of the Cavaliers because of injury.

The Nets are title contenders this season with Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant leading the way.

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Having a week off to prepare for the first round figures to be important for Brooklyn seeing how the trio was in and out of the lineup this season because of various ailments. If the time off allows them to reach full strength, the rest of the Eastern Conference could be in for a daunting challenge as teams attempt to stop all that starpower.

Irving won a championship in 2016 in Cleveland in large part because of his clutch three-pointer down the stretch of Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

He will look to do something similar this year even if he is approaching the playoffs like they are his last.

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