“Playoff Kyrie” Irving will lead the Boston Celtics past the Milwaukee Bucks.
FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd concluded as much on Tuesday’s episode of “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” after he highlighted the Celtics point guard as the X-factor in their upcoming Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Bucks. Cowherd believes Irving’s ability to raise his game during the NBA playoffs will be crucial in helping the fourth-seeded Celtics upset the Bucks, who had the best record in the regular season and have home-court advantage.
“Kyrie Irving is kind of underrated,” Cowherd said. “Here’s a remarkable thing. His regular season shooting is 46 percent. Playoffs, it doesn’t dip. His 3-point shooting is 35 percent in the regular season and 41 in the playoffs.
“That is very rare. In the playoffs you face better opponents, better rosters, better defenses, better teams, better analytics, and better coaches. He shoots better in the playoffs. That is incredibly rare. Almost everybody’s numbers come down in the playoffs. …”
The Celtics and Bucks will face off for the second consecutive postseason, with their conference-semifinals series set to begin this weekend in Milwaukee at Fiserv Forum.
Cowherd joins ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith in noting Irving’s importance to the Celtics’ playoff efforts. While Smith didn’t definitively pick Boston over Milwaukee, Cowherd unabashedly has put his faith in Irving.