• Ian Koska

Kyrie Irving Wants To Play Kemba Walker One-On-One

Ohh baby is this fun. Basketball fans rejoice! Well, atleast just let your imagination run wild for a bit. For some time we’ve known Kyrie says some off the wall things, but this idea I love. I would tune in anytime to watch a match up of maybe the two best scoring guards in NBA history. I truly have no idea how it would end up looking without others on the court but we can look back at some of their recent matchups and see what that can tell us. My hunch is that Kyrie is the more talented of the two but Kemba is tough and gritty and there’s something to be said about that in a one on one match.

The tale of the tape. Irving comes in at 6’1” 193lbs, with a 76” inch wingspan. Walker stands at 6 foot even, 184lbs and matches The 76” wingspan. Walker has a little more explosiveness, his 39.5 inch vertical was 4th best at the 2011 NBA combine. We won’t ever truly know what Kyries would have been because he was still nursing an injury after his one and done season at Duke. There is a YouTube video however that measures Kyrie’s in game vertical at an unofficial 34 inches max. Both players are some of the fastest guards in the league and have an insanely quick tight handle. Irving is the most creative ball handler I’ve ever seen. He is a magician with the ball. Walker on the other hand is a little more deliberate in his ball handling but that’s not a knock against him as he still consistently blows by defenders. I think Walker is a little quicker with the ball, but Irving’s creativity and uniqueness to the way he handles the rock leads me to give him the edge here. 

 As far as their career numbers go Irving leads across the board in points per game (22.4 vs 20.0), field goal percentage (.466 vs .418), and 3pt percentage (.390 vs .360.) That being said Kyrie played on much better teams with the Cavaliers and Celtics. While Kemba spent the first 8 seasons stuck on the Charolette Bobcats. Oh wait, I meant the Hornets...does it matter? 

 Defensively the both have a similar reputation of being a little below average. In my opinion both are completely competent defenders when they are locked in, and in this situation hopefully they both would be. Until they actually square off. This is a thought exercise so who cares let’s call the defense a push.

In a game to 21, 2’s and 1’s, make it take it, win by 2 who wins? While I’m tempted to go set the matchup on NBA blacktop, and then summarize the action, I’m just going to go with my gut here. I think Kyrie pulls ahead early. Offensively he just has too many skills, and I think he’ll show off with a combination of killer crossovers, and step back jumpers. While Kyrie pulls away in the first 11 points, I think Kemba hangs around, and keeps the score closer than it appears. I think Cardiac Kemba shows up and takes over, Forcing the game to be a tie around 17-18 point mark. I just can’t shake the image of Kyrie hitting the infamous step back 3 pointer to seal the victory for the Cavs in game 7 of the 2016 finals. I think at the end of the day Kyrie wins by 2, 21-19, but gosh darn this would be an awesome watch.