CLEVELAND– It’s clearly the most important shot in Cleveland Cavaliers history. But it’s also the biggest shot in NBA history.
The Wall Street Journal analyzed the most iconic shots in the league. They found Kyrie Irving‘s 3-pointer in Game 7 of the NBA Finals swung the odds of winning the game and a championship by 32 percent.
With less than a minute to go and the game tied at 89, the Cavs put the ball in Irving’s hands. As Cohen pointed out, the point guard hadn’t made an unassisted 3-pointer after stalling all season.
“Irving’s shot stole Cleveland its first sports championship in more than a half-century and transformed the image of an entire city. It also reshaped the future of the NBA itself. It has seemed almost inevitable since last season that the Cavaliers and Warriors will meet in the Finals again this season,” Ben Cohen of the Wall Street Journal wrote.
The shot changed everything.
“Cleveland’s win probability when Lue called timeout was a coin flip: 50.2%. It inched upward with every dribble and spiked when Irving shot. Cleveland’s likelihood of winning the game—and the NBA title—was suddenly 82.3%. That change in championship probability was, according to the Journal’s analysis, the largest swing the league has ever seen.”
Kyrie’s shot was compared to Michael Jordan’s in Game 6 of the 1998 Finals, Ray Allen’s in Game 6 of the 2013 Finals, Robert Horry’s in Game 5 of the 2005 Finals and John Paxson’s in Game 6 of the 1993 Finals. But Irving came out on top.