Celtics

Kyrie Irving the most clutch player in NBA? Here's one case in his favor

Kyrie Irving the most clutch player in NBA? Here's one case in his favor

The list of NBA players you'd want to take an important shot late in a game is small, but there's no question that Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving would be included.

Irving proved why on Christmas Day when he dropped 40 points in a 121-114 overtime win against the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden. Irving forced overtime with a tough shot in the final 30 seconds, then took over in the extra period with two clutch 3-point shots that turned a Celtics deficit into a comfortable lead.

The Duke product's latest display of clutch basketball reinvigorated the debate of who is the most clutch player in the league.

Skip Bayless, during Wednesday's episode of "Undisputed" on FOX Sports 1, made a case that it's Irving.

Irving was ranked No. 4 in the "Which player would you want taking a shot with the game on the line?" category of the annual NBA general manager survey in October. He has earned a ton of respect for clutch play among his peers, too, and Philadelphia 76ers star Jimmy Butler proved as much in his postgame comments after Tuesday's matchup.

Irving's clutch resumé started long before he arrived in Boston. His legend reached historic levels with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2016 NBA Finals, when he scored 41 points facing elimination in Game 5 and then hit the winning shot in Game 7 that sealed a championship over the Golden State Warriors.

Irving did it again to the Warriors later in 2016 when the two teams met in Cleveland on Christmas Day.

The Celtics nearly advanced to the NBA Finals last season, but they lacked someone who could carry the team offensively late in Game 7 against LeBron James and the Cavs. Irving's return from knee surgery gives the C's that closer that was absent in 2017-18, and it makes them a far more dangerous team when the stakes are as high as they get.

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Celtics' Marcus Smart makes perfect comment about NBA's HORSE challenge

Celtics' Marcus Smart makes perfect comment about NBA's HORSE challenge

We'll finally get to see some basketball action -- sort of -- when NBA's "HORSE Challenge" begins Sunday night.

Unfortunately, Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart won't be participating despite being a master trick-shot artist.  He did, however, chime in with an idea for a contest he'd love to be a part of.

"Let’s play H-O-R-S-E with defense and see how that works out ;)," he tweeted Thursday night.

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Sounds right up the potential Defensive Player of the Year's alley.

Although Smart won't get the chance to show off his trick-shot prowess, one former Celtic will. Paul Pierce is set to be one of the eight contestants in the competition.

Smart tested positive for the coronavirus last month, but he has since been cleared. The 26-year-old recently appeared on CNN to discuss the importance of social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic and donated his plasma to the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project.

Who are the best power forwards in Celtics history? Ranking the Top 10

Who are the best power forwards in Celtics history? Ranking the Top 10

Big men have always been a big deal for the Boston Celtics, particularly when it comes to the power forward position. 

And while the position has certainly evolved through the years, Celtics manning this position have consistently been among the best in the NBA. 

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So who are the best of the best? We take a look at the Boston Celtics’ all-time great power forwards, a Top 10 list that is almost completely full of Hall of Famers.

Click here for the gallery.