Kyrie Irving Last Blue Devil Standing In NBA Playoffs


The NBA Playoffs are coming down to the wire as it is Conference Finals time starting on Tuesday night. In the west the Golden State Warriors will take on the Houston Rockets, and in the east the Cleveland Cavaliers will take on the Atlanta Hawks.

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These playoffs started off with nine former Duke Blue Devils playing and now we are down to one, and that is Kyrie Irving. Elton Brand is on the Atlanta Hawks roster, but he has only played four minutes all postseason without scoring a single point, so for all intents and purposes Irving is the last Blue Devil remaining in the playoffs.

Things were looking good for other Blue Devils earlier in the postseason as J.J. Redick, and Austin Rivers helped the Clippers take a 3-1 series lead on the Rockets in their series, but they faded out and lost the next three games sending them home.

Irving is the biggest star of all current Duke players in the NBA so the fact that he is the last one left is not much of a surprise, but even he hasn’t been himself these playoffs. Irving has been dealing with nagging injuries all playoffs, and while he has still played well it has had an effect on him and his team.

In game six against the Bulls, which ended up being the closeout game for Cleveland, Irving didn’t play a single minute in the second half. Now his status for game one of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday is in doubt, as his head coach David Blatt is hopeful he will play, but doesn’t know for sure.

This is Kyrie’s first taste of the NBA Playoffs and while his shooting percentage is down four points from the regular season, his other numbers have been very good. He has committed less than two turnovers per game in the playoffs and is shooting 46 percent from beyond the arc.

The Cavaliers are a huge favorite over the top-seeded Hawks who, even though they won 60 games this season, still aren’t viewed as much of a threat. Many think that if Irving can give it a go, he and LeBron James will easily carry the Cavs to the NBA Finals. While that may be true for the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cavaliers will certainly need a fully healthy Kyrie Irving if they want to win the whole thing because even LeBron won’t be able to carry a team by himself past one of the juggernauts from the West.

Irving’s knee will undoubtedly play a huge role in the rest of these NBA Playoffs and we hope that it doesn’t effect him in such a way that it costs his team a Championship. Irving is the last Blue Devil standing and his health might just be the key factor in figuring out who will be the 2015 NBA Champs. Stay Tuned.