Friday, November 8, 2013

Kyrie's (lack of) Progress

I want to start this off by saying that Kyrie Irving is such a phenomenal basketball player. Prior to this season, I wrote some nice things about what he needs to do to take his game to the next level. So, let me take a look at the sample size that is the six game start to this season and examine where his game is at.

He's one of the best young guards this league has; just not one of the best young POINT guards. I've always dismissed the notion that he is currently an elite point guard based on my analysis that his skill set is better suited to play shooting guard. He has, however, slightly elevated his game as far as setting his teammates up this season; he eclipsed his career 5.7 assists average in  five of the six games played. Forget about what I think about what defines a point guard and his shortcomings in those areas though.

The thing that should raise concern is, for someone that is lauded for his great shooting ability, he hasn't shot the ball well at all. Outside of the ONE game versus Milwaukee where he topped 20 points and shot over 50% from the field, he has been a below average shooter. In the season opening win over Brooklyn, Kyrie shot 4-16 from the field. In the recent outing versus Philadelphia, he went 4-17.  Well, if nothing else, at least he still has the tightest handles in the NBA right?  Oh wait, that lone game he shot 50% versus Milwaukee, he had the ball in his hands at the end of the game with an opportunity to win but dribbled the ball of his feet. Nothing to worry about, just a rotten grape in a tasty fruit salad.

Speaking of late game situations maybe it would be wise for Kyrie to check his ego and not blow off his coach when he calls for a pick and roll.  This is not a slander Irving article, this just me making a brief early season observation.  He has a new coach, new teammates, and ESPN added pressure to his season by ranking him in the top 10.  I'm almost certain things will get better for him this season but the elite talk needs to cease for now.  It's too soon.  Just like it's too soon for judgement to be passed based on this small sample size.

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