Damian Lillard Says Kyrie Irving Is ‘The Most Skilled’ Player Ever After Irving Hits Game-Winner With Left Hand

Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard believes Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving is “the most skilled” NBA player ever. 

Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, NBA
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Lillard tweeted about Irving after the Mavericks star hit a game-winning shot at the buzzer with his left hand against the Denver Nuggets. 

The Mavericks defeated the Nuggets by a final score of 107-105. Irving finished with 24 points, seven rebounds and nine assists in 39 minutes while shooting 9-of-23 from the field, 4-of-11 from beyond the arc and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line. 

“Man, majority of it is instinctual and comes from preparation for hours that no one sees,” Irving told NBA reporters about his game-winning shot with his left hand. “I saw (Nikola) Jokic taking away my pull-up going left. I knew that he was going to come up, but I didn’t know he was going to commit like that, so he was forcing me inside the 3-point line.

“As soon as I felt him kind of behind me, I was like, oh, I have my left hand. It’s wide open, so why not go to it?”

The Mavericks improved to 39-29 on the season after beating the Nuggets. Dallas is in seventh place in the Western Conference standings. 

Irving is averaging 25.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists on the season. The NBA champion is shooting 49.0% overall, 41.5% from 3 and 90.7% from the foul line. 

“He’s very talented and gifted [with] both hands and he does crazy plays like that, so that’s just what he does,” Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber said of Irving. “But it’s still an unbelievable shot, so obviously you’re going to be a little bit in shock once it goes in.”

Added Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic: “That shot was unbelievable, man. I couldn’t believe it.”

The exact distance of Irving’s buzzer-beater was 20.1 feet. That ranks as the second-longest hook shot made by any player this season. 

The longest hook shot this season? That was also by Irving when he banked one in from the top of the key in a January 3 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Looking for the latest NBA Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow Hoops Wire on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NBA News and Rumors for all 30 teams!

Leave a Reply