Reporting Daryl Ruiter
INDEPENDENCE (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week the league announced Monday.
Irving averaged a league best 35.7 points per game while the Cavaliers went 3-0 during the 7-day stretch.
“This has been a very good week for our team,” Irving said in a statement. “We’re working hard and making progress. While I’m honored to win the award this week, the most important and exciting thing is our success as a team and continuing our focus to keep getting better every day.”
Irving has had quite the week.
Last Thursday, he was named an Eastern Conference All Star reserve and Cleveland Pro Athlete of the Year. Then he hit the game winner with 0.7 left Saturday night at Toronto.
“He’s probably had one of the best week’s of his life,” coach Byron Scott said. “You get named to the all star team, athlete of the year in Cleveland and then he goes out and averages about 35 points so he’s had a pretty good week. I think he’d be the first to admit it’s been a great week for him but he wants to continue to grow as a basketball player, continue to grow as a leader and keep playing the way he’s playing.”
He scored at least 32 points in all 3 games and shot .612 from the field and .950 from the foul line while continuing to be the ultimate closer late in games.
“He now understands we need to him be aggressive,” Scott said. “From the moment he steps onto the floor until he comes out of the game.
“Kyrie has something special, there’s no doubt about that but he knows this better than anybody – he has to continue to work to get better because even at 20 years old he has a lot of room to grow.”
In the fourth quarter this past week, Irving averaged an NBA-high 11.7 points, including a perfect percentage from the foul line (10-10). In the last 3 minutes of the fourth quarter, he averaged a league-best 8.0 points and was a perfect 7-7 from the foul line.
This past week, Irving was nothing short of spectacular.
He scored 40 points – 1 shy of his career-high – Jan. 22 on 16-of-24 shooting in a 95-90 win over the Boston Celtics. He scored a game high 35 on Jan. 25 as the Cavaliers rallied for a 20 point 3rd quarter deficit to beat Milwaukee.
San Antonio’s Tony Parker received Western Conference honors.