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The Kyrie and Dion chemistry conundrum

Discussion in 'Cavs Talk' started by RchfldCavRaised, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. RchfldCavRaised

    RchfldCavRaised Season of Dreams

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    I think Kyrie and Dion should play against each other every day in practice. Man to man and then they will learn to play better with each other in games whether Dion is the first guy off the bench, or beside Kyrie in the backcourt. This starting together right now, where they are in each of their individual development, is square peg in round hole to me. I think they dont have a healthy enough respect for each other's game right now. Which I can understand a little. Their skill set is pretty redundant and their limitations match pretty well, with Kyrie just being overall better at all of the offensive skills than Dion. I dont think Dion has the personality to just concede that, irregardless of the accolades and acclaim Kyrie is starting to get.

    Putting them against each other every day in practice will inspire both to engage on D, and really start putting the effort in on that end. It is a pride thing.

    When I was a Senior, we had a freshman PG who started out the season on JV and dressing Varsity and by January, he was starting to play a little and started running the 2nd unit in practice scrimmages. So I started abusing him in practice, when before I treated him like all the other freshmen and just didnt pay him any mind. I knew he was being groomed to start the next year, but I didnt like that he was tip toeing on my time in the driver seat as much.

    By playing him head to head, I learned to respect the advantages to his game, like he was quicker than me and could get his little floater off in the tiniest of spaces when we were attacking a zone. I also picked up on how quick he was laterally and how even though he was like 5'6/5'7 he was hard to get around once he was locked in his little defensive stand on the perimeter. Through January, he started playing more and more until he was in the rotation. He was playing more as a off guard who was at the front of our diamond press (1-2-2) but because I had learned his game inside and out, I had developed a healthy respect for what he could do and how he could help me/us when he was out there getting meaningful minutes. We had a game at the very beginning of February, against Norton Panthers at home, that was almost snowed out so nobody really showed up and the team as a whole was very lackluster and disengaged like the Cavs were last night. Norton played a 2-3 and a Box and 1 pretty much the entire game because they were slow and disciplined, and they lulled us to sleep. So Little Gary came in, and the minute he came in, I told him to shoot that floater anytime he got an inch of penetration, and his bulldog D was more effective as the lead of our diamond press and we started getting some turnovers. He turned the tide in that game, but I got the game ball, because I found a way to use his skill set to attack a type of team we had been having trouble with all season. By the end of the season we were complimenting each other better and working together in practice even though we were usually head to head. We would single guys out who werent catching passes and FIRING the ball at our big men who were disengaged in practices and games. Bringing him along and me respecting his game allowed us to plow through teams like Norton and Manchester in the state playoffs who had a style that usually gave us fits. I learned to respect his skill and we played together and attacked teams together by going head to head.

    [​IMG]
    Lil G has the ball, Im to his right. I was definitely the Kyrie to his Dion :chuckles:

    I say all that because right now, I see two guards who arent working together. I dont want our backcourt to be considered finished because I dont ever think it would be making best use of either of these two guys skill sets, however, if they are going to play beside each other ALOT, I think they could be doing more to put each other in better position to play better and attack better knowing each others strengths. And I dont see that right now.

    Im spoiled because Delonte had such a high bball IQ, and it showed in the unsung way he made Mo Williams better. However, Dion doesnt have the long arms, ability to post, or the IQ that Delonte had, so Im trying to temper my expectations for how I want to see him play off Kyrie. Kyrie doesnt give effort alot and I see some REALLY bad habits creeping into his game in regard to how he communicates with teammates.

    I think the best thing for both of them would be Dion going to bench, being the first guard off in games, and being put at the head of a strong veteran 2nd unit when they scrimmage (Dion, Livingston, Ellington, Walton/KJ, Speights) and tell him to not hold back and go after Kyrie. Kyrie will learn a healthier respect for Dion's game and will learn how to incorporate it better when they are sharing the court, and Dion will get his ass busted just as much by Kyrie and will learn to play better D, learn to play D within a team structure with the help from his veteran teammates, and will learn to incorporate Kyries game into his by getting a taste of his strengths first hand.

    One of the plays that Kyrie got frustrated at, was when he released the Detroit ball handler to Dion right in front of the Cavs bench out on the perimeter in the first half, and Dion just watched the guy go around him to the baseline and throw up a oop, without so much as engaging him. From the language on Dions body, it looked like Dion felt Kyrie could have stayed with his man and he didnt trust that Kyrie really needed him to switch in that case. That kind of thing between backcourt mates is indicative of a lack of trust and a lack of knowing your teammates ability.

    If they are already going head to head, then I think the stakes need to be raised, somehow. Even when they are playing winning and engaged unlike last night, I see them taking turns initiating and attacking and the off ball guard is never involved or invested in the play when the other has it.

    I dont put that on Byron.
     
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  2. Kizzle

    Kizzle In the Rotation

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    Its key they dont end up like Monta and Jennings. I want to see these guys end up more like Parker and Manu. Alot of our success relies on these guys' chemistry. Scott has a hard job to do for sure
     
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  3. Marcus

    Marcus Let's go Cabs!

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    Good post, RCR. I agree that there's no better time than the present. Sure, Dion may be a rookie and Kyrie a sophomore, but there's no better time than now, while they are still young and impressionable. Why wait? Impress good habits into them now, while you can.
     
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  4. IronCav.

    IronCav. Wine & Gold Avenger

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    I like a lot of the points you made Rchfld. I really hope the two of them find some chemistry soon or try switching up what obviously isn't working out right now. As pretty as it looks seeing Kyrie break his defender off or Dion going to the hole, it's not helping the offense at all just standing around watching either of them iso. Be it lack of respect or no trust in each other, it needs to be addressed soon before either gets set in their ways.

    I don't like the "Grant missed on a pick" train of thought. I like what Dion can do, I just want to see some more cohesion with our team rather then who's gonna make the defense collapse this time. Trading him isn't the solution if Kyrie is also not installing trust in his teammates. We don't have to find complimentary pieces or who is gonna fit best next to Kyrie, I think he has a lot to work on in that regard.
     
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  5. Randolphkeys

    Randolphkeys Admittedly Pompous Staff Member

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    Richfield, remember how Delonte learned how to be a good second banana? He spent a few years in the same back court with Jameer Nelson. Maybe the growing pains will end with each player learning to run a TEAM, not just finding their own shot. I do agree that right now, the Cavs play one on one ball to score. It's painful. There is no trust that our bigs know how to read a defense and go to the right place to catch a pass. Gee has fallen apart offensively. There is no cohesion. All the pundits who say Irving is the next great point guard are pretending this isn't happening, but I agree it's happening.

    I thought Dion would start the year as the backup third guard with Chuck Jumpers starting at the ST spot for this very reason. Now the Cavs have two other shooting guards who let it fly without moving the ball around (Assfingers, Wayne Ellington). I think Livingston is the only guard we have who understands setting up teammates. Secondly, we all wonder why Walton gets playing time... well at least he knows how to move the ball around.

    I can't wait for the roster to go through another clean sweep. Waiters and Irving need to coexist, because too much has been invested. The players around them could certainly make it easier...
     
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  6. RchfldCavRaised

    RchfldCavRaised Season of Dreams

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    Yeah, this is what is so scary about it.

    By all accounts, Boeheim spent the better part of two years trying to get through to Dion how best to initiate offense with the ball in his hands and how to create better for everyone as a lead guard. In the games I watched, when he came in, guys like Jardine and Trische moved to combo guard/off guard when Dion came in. This wasnt every time down, but as a guy who loves watching guard initiate, there was no question to me that Dion was the lead guard as soon as he stepped on teh court.

    I think the two of them, like you said, both need ALOT of help learning how to run a team instead of just score or break down their men.

    I like Livingston, but even before the injury, he was a penetrating guard who wasnt a floor leader either.

    I think both of them have the game and capability to run their own team. We should develop them as such and just stagger their time on the court for awhile. Start Kyrie and GJ or Wayne, and have Dion come in and learn/play with vets. And then let them learn each other by trying to kill each other in practice.
     
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  7. RchfldCavRaised

    RchfldCavRaised Season of Dreams

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    I'm taking acquisition out of this discussion.

    Not interested at all in how Dion was acquired. As a coach, Im operating like we dont have any impact or bearing on roster moves, simply what we have in front of us.

    These two dont trust each other or respect each others strengths and weaknesses yet.
     
  8. Gimme Some Mo

    Gimme Some Mo All-Star

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    I have questioned from day one if they'll fit together but I am not even the least bit worried about it as of now. They're 20 years old playing together for the first time. It took two of the greatest players ever in their primes in LBJ and Wade over a year to figure out how to play together. Give it time.
     
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  9. RchfldCavRaised

    RchfldCavRaised Season of Dreams

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    Wish I could share that confidence GSM.

    Wade and Bron only work now because they went through that period of time where LeBron was committed to playing the block and he started running pick and roll with Wade and Chalmers as their screener.
     
  10. Damien O'Connel

    Damien O'Connel Sixth Man

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    Kyrie and Dion present a unique combination, two score-first players at the guard positions, the point guard being the superior scorer and the shooting guard the better passer (I say passer, but I mean his ability to create offense for others). Innovation will be the key to their success. We will not win a championship with them as our best players if we do not "break the mold" of a traditional backcourt.

    Now, it's easy for me to sit here and say that without a concrete idea of what type of innovation I'm actually referring to. The Miami Heat had a similar situation with LeBron and Dwyane (do NOT turn this into a comparison between Kyrie/Dion and Lebron/Wade) until they were able to play a non-traditional style of NBA basketball, they could not win the big one.

    Personally, I think Byron is too stubborn for this and if you look at his track record, he has always coached or played in the traditional backcourt of a pass-first point guard and a scoring/spot up 2 guard. Byron is the man to develop these players mentally and physically, but in order to win a championship i think it will take a superior mind, because we are dealing with such a unique situation. Spo lucked out and was blessed with Lebron whose basketball genius has now extended to the X's and O's. Lebron created the Miami Heat's unique offense, who will it be for Cleveland?
     
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  11. Randolphkeys

    Randolphkeys Admittedly Pompous Staff Member

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    Richfield, do you think this was as big of an issue when Andy was healthy? Irving trusted Andy to go to the right spots, which I don't see from our bugs right now. now I kind of see our stagnant offense as a product of ALL of our supporting cast, not just our admittedly green main ball handlers.
     
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  12. ice cream man

    ice cream man In the Rotation

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    It all starts with Kyrie. Besides the fact that they both need to give a more consistent effort, and keep a more positive attitude. The only player he has really started passing to is Tristan. Regardless of who it is, Kyrie needs to start making the right basketball play, and his teammates will follow. We don't need him to single-handedly win any games for us this season. It's not going to help us in the future. It appears that if one of the two (Kyrie/Dion) passes the ball to the other, they know they won't get it back. That's not a good offense. It's not hard to actually learn to play off the ball, the question is are you willing to do it. I don't know if it's because they are tired, or just lazy, but they need to start doing the things that don't show up in the stat sheet.

    On a somewhat related sidenote, I think Dion can get to the rack even easier than Kyrie. Maybe it's because defenses don't focus on Dion as much, but I like what I've seen. At this point, I'd say that Kyrie/Dion not only could become the most lethal backcourt in the NBA, but they should.
     
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  13. RchfldCavRaised

    RchfldCavRaised Season of Dreams

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    I agree with this. Andy made the game easier for everyone. His game IQ was the highest on the team. Even higher than Luke I think.

    I dont see Kyrie trusting anyone like he did Andy, but just as concerning is how he checks out when he sees Dion is about to attack and vice versa.

    And Tyler has about no trust from Kyrie anymore. He rolls his eyes at him just about everytime down just like he was doing Tristan before Andy went down.

    Id like to see him be more of a "building" leader type player. He wont ever be Sam Cassell leader type, but he needs to mature as a teammate some.
     
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  14. RchfldCavRaised

    RchfldCavRaised Season of Dreams

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    I dont agree with this. Dion can split a big and a guard for sure, but I dont think he can get to the rack easier than Kyrie. I wouldnt mind if Dion took the tape from last night and focused on learning some of the post game Stuckey abused him iwth in the 3rd quarter.
     
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  15. KCOTT

    KCOTT OSU Alum

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    Dion has no choice but to develop chemistry with Kyrie if he wants to stick around. If he doesn't, he might be stuck to the sixth man role for the rest of his time here. And honestly, I'd hate to have taken a guy 4th overall to be the sixth man. So rather than that, I'd prefer just packaging him in a deal to grab another lottery pick and draft Mclemore and a big guy.
     
  16. Randolphkeys

    Randolphkeys Admittedly Pompous Staff Member

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    If you tried to count the number of times LeBron rolled his eyes at Drew Gooden you would run out of numbers, changing our understanding of mathematics as a human race. Kyrie is going to mature as a leader, I hope. He is still a little petulant. Watching that clip of Kyrie talking to Kobe last summer reminded me how young Kyrie is mentally.

    Well, at least he hits big shots and understands the game like a grown man. The other stuff will come.
     
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  17. MDLT

    MDLT NBA Starter

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    You don't trade Dion yet, but not sure what value he would really have. Doubt you would get a very high lottery pick for him, tbh.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  18. RchfldCavRaised

    RchfldCavRaised Season of Dreams

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    I started this with the intention to not bring transactions into it. Purely from a basketball in-game mentality/coaching kind of discussion.

    What would you do, with no trade or FA ability, with the roster as is to help these two play better together?
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  19. petes999

    petes999 Rookie

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    Thank you for pointing this out. I got chewed out a week or two ago when I suggested Kyrie should not be going three on one to win the game. I said that I rather have Waiters miss five game winning shots if it meant that Kyrie and him were learning to play together so that defenses had to respect the outlet pass. Someone mentioned that when Waiters can hit the shot that Kyrene has the pass ready. Yet, it is chemistry that they need to develop, they willingness to give it up and know the other will give it back if they don't have a shot. It will happen, it just takes time and willingness to lose a game or two this season, knowing next year will start our steak of playoff apperances. Monumental wins against Toronto or Milwaukee doesn't mean a thing if Kyrie and/or Waiters are doing it one against five as it won't work against OKC.
     
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  20. howler1313

    howler1313 NBA Starter

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    No one trusts Tyler, he's even lost all confidence in himself. I commented on this yesterday, but it seems like even catching the ball cleanly is hard for him these days.

    Regarding the lack of chemistry between the two, I think a lot of it has to do with the awful offensive set (singular on purpose) that we run. I'd love to have them run off screens for each other, since both can be pretty effective on the mid range catch and shoot, or use that to penetrate. That's definitely not happening in this offense though.

    And I'd love to plant one of them on the nearside corner for a catch and shoot corner 3 whenever the other penetrates. Could be a source of easy points and it would help with spacing in general, since it seems like when Kyrie/Dion drive off the high pick and roll, the other is usually just waiting on the opposite wing beyond the three point line while Gee is in position for a corner 3. His man of course is practically in the paint since everyone is begging for Gee to shoot that wide open 3.

    I'm sure posters with more X's and O's knowledge on basketball can expound more on what I'm talking about, but based on the set we run it doesn't seem like there's much of a chance for chemistry beyond "here, your turn to break down your man and attack the D."
     
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