Kyrie Irving says defense is an after-thought in today’s NBA.
The 43 points Kemba Walker dropped on Irving’s Celtics last night in a 117-112 road win was just the latest in what’s been a preponderance of high-scoring games this season.
— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) November 19, 2018
The Milwaukee Bucks lead the NBA in scoring at 121.1 points a night—Golden State led the way last season at 113.5—and players have dropped 40 or more points in a game 22 times so far this season.
Per the Boston Globe:
“I think not a lot of defense is being played,” he said prior to the game. “Teams are scoring like it’s the 1960s or ’70s. It’s 132 to 112, 142 to 121. There’s no defense. There’s just none. We got into a Utah-Boston game and it’s [98-86] and you can see the difference in effort in every single night, which I get from an NBA player’s standpoint, the amount of games we play, but sometimes you have to make guys miss.
“We’re all NBA players and if you see an open look at the rim, I’m pretty sure we’re going to knock it down over 50 percent of the time if it’s wide open. More or less no defense and effort. That’s what it comes down to; nobody should be scoring that many points.”
Irving was adamant about crediting the skill of the offensive players but he said defense have to react accordingly.
“You have to give credit to the offensive players for making the shots but also I think the emphasis on making double-teaming and just getting the ball out of someone’s hands,” he said. “Just doing the little things to help your teammates guard a great player or a great team, just a total team effort and team collective activity to kind of limit those high scoring games.”