Kyrie Irving gets constant praise for his handles, which are among the best in the league. But just as impressive as his dribbling is his incredible ability to score around the rim. Body control is one of the more underrated attributes a player can possess, and Irving’s control is up there with the best of them. He’s able to compact his body on a moment’s notice, squeezing into tight spaces and exploding out them in the blink of an eye.
On this lay up, Irving didn’t need to change his body, just his ball hand (which is still no small feat). Yet Irving makes it appear incredibly easy. To the viewer, it may appear as if he’s making the lay up harder than it needs to be, but it’d be folly to question Irving, who’s an expert at precisely gauging the necessary angles and maneuvers.
Behind Irving’s 17 first-half points, the Cleveland Cavaliers were able to get within single digits of the Bulls at half, trailing 49-44 after losing by as many as 14 points early in the game.