Kyrie Irving has dropped major praise on Yuta Watanabe, calling his teammate "the best shooter in the world right now." Watanabe, who went undrafted in the 2018 NBA draft, was splitting his time between the NBA and G-League in the previous years.
Now, he is a member of the Nets and is shooting 57.1 percent from beyond the three-point line - the highest three-point percentage in the NBA right now. Irving says he absolutely loves playing with Watanabe as he admits the Japanese is making the game easier for him and the rest of the guys.
Irving: Watanabe is the best shooter in the world right now
“He’s the best shooter in the world right now. The stats prove it right now. He’s the best shooter in the best league in the world right now. So we just want him to remain confident and shoot the opportunities that he gets out there.
He makes the game a lot easier and we have guys that are willing to sacrifice their body night-to-night, we want to reward them, especially when they’re shooting the ball," Irving said of Watanabe. Unfortunately for the Nets, they will be without Watanabe for some time.
On Tuesday, Watanabe sustained a hamstring injury during the game versus the Philadelphia 76ers. “[Yuta Watanabe] got an MRI [exam] in Philly and Yuta has a hamstring strain. So we’ll reassess him when we get back home.
Definitely miss him. I spoke a little bit [Tuesday] of how I put a little bit of strain, because it gives us the ability to play big and small. And there was a stretch where we just missed him, so we had to run Royce [O’Neale] a little bit longer, he ends up playing 38, 39, 40 minutes.
So it puts a strain on the group overall," Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn said. Watanabe wasn't available for the Nets on Wednesday night and he will also be out for Friday's game versus the Indiana Pacers.