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With the season currently paoffered because of the coronavirus pandemic, NBA fans need somepoint to whet their appetites. A head-to-head fight in between 2 Hall of Famers? Yep, that"ll perform the trick.

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As NBC Sports" Tom Haberstroh reported Friday, Shaquille O"Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon were supposed to go 1-on-1 ago in 1995. The matchup never taken place, yet the appeal is obvious. Who wouldn"t have wanted to view the 2 legendary significant men go at it?

Which acquired us thinking: Which 1-on-1 matchups between contemporary players would fans the majority of want to see? Immediately, one comes to mind.

Steph Curry and also Kyrie Irving constantly have actually been compared to one another throughout their NBA careers. Obviously, the rivalry between the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers played right into that, but it"s straightforward to check out why.

Who are the two finest suggest guards in the NBA? Who has actually the ideal take care of in the league? Who is the a lot of talented point guard Kevin Durant has ever been on the same team with?

With apologies to Damian Lillard and also Rusmarket Westbrook, chances are, the a lot of widespread answers to those concerns would certainly be Curry and Irving.


They"ve both had legendary performances once their teams have gone head to head, however obviously, we"ve never before had the opportunity to see exactly how a 1-on-1 matchup can play out.

Which begs the question: How would it?

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Curry is 4 years older than Irving, yet, he has actually only invested two even more periods in the NBA, and also at this allude, both players are that they are going to be. They"re both in their primes, but it"s unlikely that either would take a major leap forward throughout the remainder of their careers.

So, we"ll base this theoretical matchup on just how the two players have percreated up to this allude. And upon doing so, it reveals to be simply as enticing as you might mean.

In practically eextremely significant statistical category -- scoring, rebounding, assists, shooting percenteras, PER, win shares -- Curry has the upper hand also over Irving.


Though Irving is a sharpshooter in his own right, he hasn"t been virtually as accurate as Curry. From the field, the free-throw line and also specifically from 3-suggest selection, Curry has proven to be the much better marksman. If the 1-on-1 matchup came dvery own to shot-making, you"d need to offer the two-time MVP the benefit of the doubt.

Speaking of which, Curry has all the hardware in his favor, as well. Two league MVPs to zero, 3 NBA championships to one. That does not issue much, if at all, in a 1-on-1 establishing, however mostly speaking, the best players tend to get the awards.

If there"s one area where you"d have to provide Irving a slight advantage, it"s dribbling. Curry has a great take care of, more than likely second-ideal in the league, and absolutely one of the finest of all time. The trouble for Steph is, Irving is the one over him. Each player has actually a hefty catalog of ankle-breaking highlights, and also Curry has embarrassed plenty of NBA players via his moves. But Irving seems to want to embarrass his foe whenever he has the rock -- and, even more regularly than not, he does.

So, if they went 1-on-1, you might suppose plenty of slick handles from both sides. Neither would want to obtain their hand also recorded in the cookie jar, yet both sucount would certainly -- Curry maybe as soon as or twice even more than his opponent.

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Which brings us to defense. Neither player will certainly ever be named NBA Defensive Player of the Year, however both are much much better defensively than they"re given credit for. For their careers, Curry and Irving have posted individual defensive ratings of 107 and also 109 points allowed per 100 possessions, respectively. Neither number is overly exceptional, however both are solid, particularly given their offensive output. Curry (1.7) has actually averaged even more steals per game than Irving (1.3), however Kyrie (0.4) has the benefit over Steph (0.2) in blocks. All those differences are sensibly negligible, and also mostly speaking, tbelow isn"t much separating the two from a protective standpoint.

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So, shot-making goes to Curry, ball-taking care of goes to Irving and also defense is a press. How the heck does that play out, 1-on-1?