Already a Warriors nemesis, Kyrie Irving enters Finals on a scary roll

OAKLAND – Some really bad memories likely surfaced for the Warriors this week as they watched Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving slice and dice the Boston Celtics’ defense over the final two games of the NBA Eastern Conference finals.


Irving scored 42 points in Game 4, making 15 of 22 shots, and added 24 more in the close-out Game 5, making 9 of 15 attempts. In both games, he made some pretty decent defenders in Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley look absolutely silly trying to guard him.

They couldn’t. Over the final four games of the five-game series, Irving shot a frightening 66.7 percent (42 of 63).  Lest you think he amassed that gaudy number mostly on his uncanny drives to the basket, Kyrie also nailed 15 of 27 3-point tries (55.6 percent). So how do you pick your poison with this guy?

In short, Irving is coming to Oakland this week for Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals on a scary roll, not that the Warriors need to be reminded just how scary he can be. His Game 4 against Boston was eerily similar to his Game 6 against Golden State in last year’s Finals, when he made 17 of 24 shots, including 5 of 7 3-pointers, and scored 41 points as the Cavaliers sent the series to a Game 7.

Of course, everyone remembers Game 7, when Kyrie buried the dagger 3 over Stephen Curry with 52 seconds left that ultimately served to cinch the Cavaliers’ 93-89 victory. For anyone who might have thought it was a fluke, Irving also hit the game-winning shot over Klay Thompson in the Christmas Day 109-108 showdown in Cleveland this…

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