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Head To Head Comparison: Kyrie Irving vs. Stephen Curry vs. Damian Lillard

Head To Head Comparison: Kyrie Irving vs. Stephen Curry vs. Damian Lillard

The three best point guards in the NBA so far this season have been Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, and Damian Lillard. Each player is an MVP candidate for their team and all contribute to the game through their undeniably great offensive skills. Curry is a 3-time champion, Irving is a 1-time NBA champion, and Damian Lillard has not won a title or even made the NBA Finals yet.

But how do these 3 offensive superstars compare in the most important statistical categories? An analysis of their stats this season will give an indication as to which point guard is the best in the NBA right now. Here is the statistical breakdown of the top-3 point guards in the game today.

Points

Stephen Curry - 29.4 PPG

Damian Lillard - 29.1 PPG

Kyrie Irving - 27.5 PPG

No surprise to see Curry and Lillard close to each other in the scoring category. Kyrie Irving is a great player but he is now sharing the ball with Kevin Durant and James Harden who have a combined 7 scoring titles between them. Irving will likely not keep up with either Curry’s or Lillard’s scoring this season as a result, and Curry has the slight edge over Lillard by 0.3 PPG.

Damian Lillard has an All-Star caliber scorer in CJ McCollum playing with him so even if Lillard is averaging over 29 PPG this season, that number should slightly decrease when McCollum returns to the court. Curry thus has the edge as he plays with no other offensive stars right now.

Winner: Stephen Curry

Rebounds

Stephen Curry - 5.4 RPG

Kyrie Irving - 4.8 RPG

Damian Lillard - 4.5 RPG

While Curry is known as mainly an offensive superstar and knockdown shooter, he has always been a solid rebounder for his size. Curry stands 6’3” tall and has a knack for grabbing boards better than Irving and Lillard. Curry averages 4.5 RPG over his career which is very impressive, and he is a much more consistent rebounder than the other top-3 point guards in the game. Lillard and Irving don’t have Curry’s rebounding awareness and Curry is the easy winner here.

Winner: Stephen Curry

Assists

Damian Lillard - 7.3 APG

Stephen Curry - 6.1 RPG

Kyrie Irving - 5.7 APG

All 3 point guards are natural scorers who prefer to get buckets rather than set up their teammates. Gone are the days where point guards handle the rock to set up their teammates, and the best point guards right now are expected to lead the team in scoring. But Damian Lillard has taken his playmaking to another level this year.

Lillard is blowing away Curry and Irving with his assist numbers and he is literally an offensive force on his own. Lillard sees double-teams on a nightly basis and he is very capable of finding guys for open shots when he gets trapped. Curry has always been an unselfish player despite being a scorer but he has not met Lillard’s assist total, while Kyrie Irving is not known for his passing.

Winner: Damian Lillard

Steals

Stephen Curry - 1.3 SPG

Damian Lillard - 1.0 SPG

Kyrie Irving - 0.9 SPG

When it comes to defense, none of these point guards have much of an impact. But Curry has always been a threat to snatch the ball by playing passing lanes, better than either Lillard or Irving. Curry has terrific basketball awareness, and even if he is not a natural defender, he knows how to be in spots to be a pest on defense.

This season, Curry has a slight edge over Lillard and Irving in the steals category and that will likely continue throughout the season. Curry is bolstered by the likes of Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green on defense which allows him to be a bit free-roam in trying for steals. Curry wins another category.

Winner: Stephen Curry

Blocks

Kyrie Irving - 0.8 BPG

Damian Lillard - 0.3 BPG

Stephen Curry - 0.1 BPG

Quite surprisingly, Kyrie Irving is averaging nearly 1.0 BPG. Kyrie Irving is not a natural defender but he has a knack for getting a hand to balls when he contests shots. Kyrie has never averaged below 0.3 BPG during any season of his career and even averaged 0.5 BPG over the past 2 seasons. If Irving can keep this number up, it would be a massive achievement for a player who is knocked for his defense.

Curry and Lillard are not natural shot-blockers and neither player averages above 0.3 BPG for their careers. Irving gets on the board with this category win.

Winner: Kyrie Irving

FG%

Kyrie Irving - 53.3%

Stephen Curry - 48.1%

Damian Lillard - 45.7%

In terms of nailing shots with efficiency, Stephen Curry is often the first player that comes to mind. He is the greatest shooter ever and has the best stroke that we have ever seen. But he is not as accurate as Kyrie Irving this season, who has been on a tear since the first game of the 2021 season. Irving is draining over 50% of his shots which is his career-high at the moment. Irving’s next-best shooting average was at 49.1% during his first season with the Boston Celtics in 2018.

Curry is shooting lights out as usual, but he is forced to take lower percentage shots as Klay Thompson is out for the season and no one else can generate any offense. Irving will benefit from playing with Durant and Harden all season long and he should hover around 50% shooting this season.

Winner: Kyrie Irving

3PT%

Kyrie Irving - 43.0%

Stephen Curry - 42.5%

Damian Lillard - 38.4%

Once again, Stephen Curry is expected to be the best knockdown shooter from deep. Curry is the greatest marksman of all-time because he can drain shots from anywhere, and many even claim that Damian Lillard comes close. While this may be true, it is not the case this season. Irving is nailing a slightly higher percentage of threes at 43.0% which is excellent, and he has been on point so far this season.

Curry is on Irving’s heels and his percentage might change at some point this season, but right now Irving is the man from deep. Lillard takes a ton of deep threes that are very tough shots to take, and that is harming his shooting percentage this season. Irving takes another category.

Winner: Kyrie Irving

FT%

Stephen Curry - 93.7%

Damian Lillard - 93.6%

Kyrie Irving - 93.5%

This statistic is hilariously great. All 3 guards are nailing over 93% of their free-throw shot attempts. In comparison, Curry is averaging 5.5 FT attempts while nailing 5.1 FTs a game compared to Lillard’s 7.0 makes on 7.5 attempts. Irving is draining 3.6 FTs on only 3.9 attempts, as Irving is making a living from deep this season.

So far, Curry has the masterstroke. 93.7% is a phenomenal shooting percentage ad he slightly edges Lillard and Irving who are only 0.1 and 0.2% away from him respectively.

Winner: Stephen Curry

Team Record

Kyrie Irving - 14-11

Damian Lillard - 12-10

Stephen Curry - 12-11

Out of all the 3 stars, Kyrie Irving has the most talented team and the best record. Irving is lucky to be sharing the court with Kevin Durant and James Harden, a luxury that neither Curry nor Lillard has. Lillard has a great squad with McCollum and even Jusuf Nurkic supporting him, but both players have had their injuries and could not help Lillard that much.

Stephen Curry is without his Splash Brother Klay Thompson for the entire season and has to pray that Kelly Oubre Jr or Andrew Wiggins hit their shots which is always a stretch. Irving has had a terrific impact for the Nets and he deserves just as much credit as Kevin Durant for Brooklyn’s strong start to the season, but he has the most help and the best team record.

Winner: Kyrie Irving

Final Result: Stephen Curry 4, Kyrie Irving 4, Damian Lillard 1

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