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Thread: Kyrie Irving

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    Default Re: Kyrie Irving

    http://hoopspeak.com/2012/01/kyries-a-poor-mans-nobody/


    Kyrie’s a poor man’s nobody
    By Ethan Sherwood Strauss, on January 30th, 2012

    I’ve resisted the urge to write about Kyrie Irving because I’ve resisted the urge to do a “He’s awesome, I told ya so, I am great by proxy” victory dance. But the jig is up, or on in this case. When Irving submits a performance like last night’s Boston besting, he becomes impossible to ignore. His overall game was magnificent, but the hairpin spin layup winner pegged that brilliance to a single, memorable moment.

    A fiery upstart using Boston as a staging ground for thumbing his nose at an ossified imperial power? Why, a Tea Party would be the perfect metaphor for this, had the term not become so politically loaded. Or it would be were this a new occurrence, or even that shocking. Going 10-14 isn’t that surprising when you’re shooting over 50% on the year. He does this kind of thing on the regular, his PER is only behind that of Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, and the immortal Lou Williams among point guards.

    Sometimes it seems as though the only shocking aspect of Kyrie’s success is how shocked people are by it. He was the number one pick, number one picks are supposed to be potential superstars. Yet there was no superstar buzz surrounding the Duke prospect. There was Puritanical clucking over how he should have returned for another year at Duke, worries over how few games he played before succumbing to a toe injury. The general assumption was that this draft was weak and that Irving’s selection highlighted an overall talent lowtide.

    In the draft lead up, the tag on Irving’s game was, “a poor man’s Chris Paul,” or “Chris Paul lite.” Here is where I think NBA pundits got wrong-footed: There is no such damned thing as a poor man’s Chris Paul because Chris Paul is greatness. You cannot be an ersatz version of the qualities that make CP3 one of the best ever. Paul is inimitable, which is why he’s unguardable. He takes what the defense gives him and almost always knows what is given. You cannot have 10% less of this savant court vision, it is a complete mastery that Chris Paul builds his game upon.

    Deep down, I think people understand this, which is why a poor man’s anyone sounds so unappealing. Thankfully for Irving, he’s a different player. More the slasher than the passer, Kyrie gets to the hoop by deftly changing speeds with Greg Maddux legs. He is less the pure point, and more the layup artist. The only comparison I can find for him is, “Compared to the other rookies, he’s quite incredible.” Now if only Byron Scott could play him more than Antawn Jamison.
    Also from the same site (from back in June)

    http://hoopspeak.com/2011/06/can-irv...ter-than-wall/


    Will Irving be better than Wall?
    By Ethan Sherwood Strauss, on June 28th, 2011

    Kyrie Irving and John Wall invite comparison, but so rarely is the offer accepted. In a universe where the public frames dissimilar basketball strangers like LeBron and Kobe as heated rivals–in the way a child narrates a fight between toys that have no real-world beef–I expected more “Irving vs. Wall” talk. But, the 10’ and 11’ number ones aren’t thought of as sharing cultural airspace despite sharing a draft position, playing position, NBA conference.

    If you look for Irving vs. Wall comps, most of that stuff is from over a year ago. It was easier to think of Kyrie as the “next John Wall,” before the Jersey kid got on the national stage. When Irving started playing at Duke, two things happened: 1. He produced with greater efficiency than John Wall did at Kentucky 2. People were not so enthralled by his athletic promise, like they were with John Wall’s.

    Then Kyrie got injured, retained his number one status, a status this is currently cited as an indictment of the 2011 draft. “The next John Wall” is now “the reason this draft sucks,” mostly on account of his smallish 11 game sample size. Also, Irving is not thought of as a franchise-morphing superstar in the John Wall mode. Unlike his number-one pick predecessor, Kyrie is a hype orphan. The stat-lovers who should be touting Irving’s metrics are scared by the sample-size. The scouts who should love his athletic, slashing play, prefer Wall’s combine-tangible physical prowess.

    Kyrie Irving looked to be the much better college basketball player in his brief stint. As Beckley so often says, he played “a perfect 11 games.” I watched most of these, and was struck by the athleticism that many draftniks find lacking. Irving burned opponents on coast-to-coast drives with a control that looked effortless. He attacked with a methodical violence, often shifting pace like a pitcher changing speeds. In stylistic contrast, John Wall attacked with a predictable straight-line velocity that blurred my HD feed, but compromised Wall’s ability to keep possession. To continue the cross-sport analogy, Wall was a flame-thrower who struggled at taming his 103 MPH heaters into the strike zone.

    Scouts prefer the latter skillset and they could be right. I recall not being impressed by Derrick Rose, the college player, and look at what young Derrick has already become in the NBA. Rose produced lukewarm NCAA stats, but did so with an athletic flair that draftniks correctly recognized as valuable.

    Wall is thought to be the next Rose and he did little to dispel such notions as a rookie. Injuries nagged an otherwise solid year and I have high expectations for his future. But I don’t think Wall will be better than Irving, a player Chad Ford compares to Mo Williams.

    My bet is on Kyrie’s small-sample productivity, his handling dexterity and his shooting. I’m predicting a superior career for the most under-hyped first pick since Andrew Bogut. Fast point guards tend to overperform in the NBA, especially if they shoot well in college. Irving’s 50-40-90 was whatever a red flag isn’t. And though it is awkward to cite stats when the sample seems insufficient, my eyes tell me to trust the numbers.

    This was interesting (and for John and also sorry I don't know how to do columns so if anyone wants to fix feel free since it may be hard to read)

    http://www.hardwoodparoxysm.com/2012...guard-edition/

    February 1, 2012 in Mystery Statistics Theater
    Mystery #4 – Created by Conrad, Analyzed by Jared
    FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
    Player A - 8.6 16.7 .511 1.4 3.5 .411 4.0 4.9 .821 1.1 3.0 4.1 6.1 0.9 0.6 4.1 3.0 22.6
    Player B - 5.2 12.1 .430 0.6 2.3 .282 5.1 6.0 .847 0.8 4.3 5.1 7.8 2.2 0.1 2.3 2.8 16.1

    TS% eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg
    Player A - .597 .554 3.6 10.2 6.8 35.1 1.4 1.2 17.7 28.5 111 107
    Player B - .546 .456 2.5 14.8 8.5 38.2 3.4 0.2 13.7 22.2 114 104

    Provided by Basketball-Reference.com

    Holy efficiency, Player A! That’s just a monster season. He’s dangerously close to achieving a 50-40-90 season, the holy grail of shooting in basketball. He makes up for the fact that he’s not averaging as many assists by scoring 6 more points per-36. He’s not as good of a defender, rebounder of free throw shooter; but again, that efficiency. The fact that Player A averages 1.7 assists per-36 less but is still within shouting distance of Player B’s AST% tells me his teammates aren’t very good scorers, and that might be why he’s scoring the basketball more. His defensive stats don’t look great and he turns it over a bit too much, but as a scorer who is that efficient and is still a good distributor, he’s my guy.

    (Player A – Kyrie Irving 2011-12, Player B – Chris Paul 2005-06)
    Note: Highlight the line above this to reveal player names

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    Default Re: Kyrie Irving

    http://nbaplaybook.com/2012/01/26/ir...aul-territory/

    Irving entering Chris Paul territory
    POSTED BY Brett Koremenos 1/26/2012

    Ricky Rubio has stolen most of the attention for this rookie class (including here at Playbook), but there is another young point guard in Cleveland showing off his immense potential as well. Kyrie Irving has taken a downtrodden Cavs franchise and surprisingly moved them into the hunt for a low playoff seed. Rubio and Irving have surely touched off a few “who would you rather have” debates among fans, so it’s probably safe to say they are the 1 and 1A of this rookie crop.

    While Rubio’s style of play is a hybrid of Jason Kidd and Steve Nash, Kyrie’s game has a lot of Chris Paul in it. It was even apparent in last night’s (ugly) win over the Knicks. Irving finished with a mere seven points, he was still able to control the game and dish out seven assists. His playmaking, pace and precocious understanding of game management were all very much on display.

    The first clip we’ll look at occurs very early in the game during a transition push by the Cavs off a missed shot. Anthony Parker finds Irving in the middle of court. Notice that as the ball is just getting to Irving’s hands, his eyes are already up court “taking pictures” (a David Thorpe term) of the action ahead.

    Irving continues to scan the floor as he pushes the ball ahead. Upon reaching half-court, Irving notices that Amare Stoudamire is dropping deep to protect the rim (a habit of a post in transition) instead of paying attention to Antwan Jamison’s run along the right lane. Irving sees both this drop and Jamison slowing his run to station himself near the three point line for a jumper. Irving promptly delivers the ball at the exact time Stoudamire is reaching the deepest part of his transition retreat. This combination of vision and timing by Irving allows for an unhurried attempt by Jamison.

    (you tube clip showing above point on linked page)

    In the next video, Irving makes an incredible poised play for such a young player. After some initial action away from him, Irving is denied ball reversal by everyone’s favorite Knick, Toney Douglas. Irving makes the correct read and makes a hard backdoor cut. His cut toward the rim, however, is met by a quick-reacting Tyson Chandler.

    Here is where we see some special qualities from Kyrie. Instead of forcing a tough drop off pass through Chandler’s hands (which a high percentage of players would do) to Varejao (who also has Stoudamire right on his back), Irving slows himself down, takes one dribble into the paint and hits a wide open Omri Casspi on the opposite side for the floor.

    Seeing Casspi, given the pace/nature of the action leading up to the delivery of the ball is a rare enough feat for most young players. Kyrie takes it a step further by not only adroitly reading the second line of defenders, but purposefully and calmly navigating to a window to make an accurate pass. In short, this rather non-descript play shows why Irving could be rather special.


    (you tube clip showing above point on linked page)

    In a pick and roll later in the second quarter, Kyrie makes very Paul-like read off a pick and roll in the middle of the floor. Paul is very adept at “creasing” (changing sides underneath the screening when the big zones up) ball screens and wrecking all sorts of havoc from there.

    After a high ball screen from Varejao, Irving creases and puts immediate pressure on the Knicks help-side defense. Varejao delays his roll to time up Kyrie’s shifty movement toward the rim. As Varajeo starst to dive Irving delivers a brilliantly executed ‘pocket’ pass that leads to a wide open dunk for the Brazilian big man.


    (you tube clip showing above point on linked page)

    In the final clip, Irving showcases another quality that makes Paul so special; the ability to move at a controlled pace during a transition push. In high school and college, most players are instructed to play as fast and as hard as they can, this often leads to players moving at a speed where it’s impossible to make good reads. Playing a notch below full speed (and speeding up only when necessary), even in transition, is a nuance that sometimes takes years to fully master.

    Like Paul, Irving shows the ability to play with an excellent understanding of pace. In the third quarter versus the Knicks, the Cavs run out off a miss. Kyrie pushes ahead quickly at first, probing New York’s defense then slows when starting to reach an operating area. As he slows, his head is immediately on a swivel looking to see where the rest of the players on the floor are.

    Since Tyson Chandler is the last to arrive, Landry Fields is cut protecting the basket and hasn’t yet been ‘kicked out’ to a perimeter player. Irving notices this and realizes that Parker will be lost in the shuffle. Kyrie delivers the ball in rhythm and the result is a wide open 3-pointer.


    (you tube clip showing above point on linked page)

    More than anyone to enter the league recently, Irving, like Paul, has the ability to manage a game through both scoring and distribution. Rubio will always be labeled as the better playmaker due to his flashy and clever passing skills. But don’t let Kyrie’s impressive scoring numbers mislead you, he can more than hold his own in that other category.

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    Default Re: Kyrie Irving

    Here is where we see some special qualities from Kyrie. Instead of forcing a tough drop off pass through Chandler’s hands (which a high percentage of players would do) to Varejao (who also has Stoudamire right on his back), Irving slows himself down, takes one dribble into the paint and hits a wide open Omri Casspi on the opposite side for the floor.
    Jon, do you think Kyrie would pass to Varejao here if he was a better PG?


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    Default Re: Kyrie Irving

    Quote Originally Posted by metalman213 View Post
    In any opinion from any fan across the league, there is a certain level of bias. people on realgm are biased too, and based on some comments from the ramon sessions laker thread are of questionable intelligence. thats why i tried to take as unbiased an approach as possible.
    Which is also true of fans on this forum, hence why a reality check is nice ESPECIALLY when the question was asked "Am I a homer to believe Kyrie is already top-10"

    Quote Originally Posted by metalman213 View Post
    i do not need to convince any fans of any other teams. anyone looking at the statistics, with an open objective mind, will see that kyrie is a top ten pg
    No, someone looking at the statistics with a pre-existing bias towards certain statistics would see that. I know a statistical slam dunk when I see one, and it's not here. There's plenty to debate, and the guys on the RealGM hit on most of the points pro & con without bothering to pull out stats.

    SVG gives some validity to the argument, but he doesn't make it. To anyone with an open mind, it's up in the air, albeit I'd say "premature" is the correct response as Kyrie hasn't even made it once around the league yet.

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    Default Re: Kyrie Irving

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglar View Post
    Jon, do you think Kyrie would pass to Varejao here if he was a better PG?
    I don't have any issue with him passing to a wide open Casspi in that situation given Chandler was on Andy's back and has the ability to block him even from behind ...if there's a problem (with a made shot) it's that the pass came at Omri's feet. If the Knicks weren't so pathetic on their weak side D, that could have been a problem.

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    Default Re: Kyrie Irving

    Quote Originally Posted by JSS2306 View Post
    First points of the game is off an Andy/ Kyrie P&R...
    And what did Dwight do on the play? He stayed back in the paint. He didn't show & recover, he didn't trap. So the play didn't qualify.

    Are you people dense?

    But it's worth noting the pass was nearly over Andy's head.

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    Default Re: Kyrie Irving

    Quote Originally Posted by WhoWeAre View Post
    There have now been three in the first half...

    Jon will spend half the day tomorrow explaining why he was still right...lol
    I might if you had actually provided actual times. A quick scan of the game logs shows only two Varejao layups, the first one assisted by Irving and the second one a transition toss by Sessions as Andy beat Dwight down the court.

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    Default Re: Kyrie Irving

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFromVA View Post
    I might if you had actually provided actual times. A quick scan of the game logs shows only two Varejao layups, the first one assisted by Irving and the second one a transition toss by Sessions as Andy beat Dwight down the court.
    I don't need game logs. As a real fan, I watch every minute of every game. It's ironic that someone who calls themself open minded, can never admit when they were wrong. There's nothing scientific or open minded about that. Especially when you revisionistically change what you meant as the conversation progresses, just to pedantically ruin a thread.

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    Default Re: Kyrie Irving

    Quote Originally Posted by WhoWeAre View Post
    I don't need game logs. As a real fan, I watch every minute of every game. It's ironic that someone who calls themself open minded, can never admit when they were wrong. There's nothing scientific or open minded about that. Especially when you revisionistically change what you meant as the conversation progresses, just to pedantically ruin a thread.
    Yes, blame me for your inability to grasp simple basketball terms like show hard and trap...

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    Default Re: Kyrie Irving

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFromVA View Post
    Yes, blame me for your inability to grasp simple basketball terms like show hard and trap...
    Yet another convenient revision...

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    Default Re: Kyrie Irving

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFromVA View Post
    I don't have any issue with him passing to a wide open Casspi in that situation given Chandler was on Andy's back and has the ability to block him even from behind ...if there's a problem (with a made shot) it's that the pass came at Omri's feet. If the Knicks weren't so pathetic on their weak side D, that could have been a problem.
    At has feet? Are you blind as well as ignorant? The pass it him an inch below his waste.

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    Default Re: Kyrie Irving

    JonfromVA seems to be one of the only person with an open mind about evaluating Kyrie. Just thought I would chime in and say that because it seems popular to gang up on him.

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    Hustling on the inside wuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kyrie Irving

    Quote Originally Posted by Primetime23 View Post
    JonfromVA seems to be one of the only person with an open mind about evaluating Kyrie. Just thought I would chime in and say that because it seems popular to gang up on him.
    Disagreeing on ways to evaluate Kyrie's game doesn't mean people have closed minds about evaluating or criticizing Kyrie.

    Did you see Douglar's post about Kyrie's defense? I don't think everyone has blinders on to the various ways Kyrie Irving can improve, although they may disagree on the most appropriate/meaningful ways to evaluate him.

    Personally, I'm a little less interested in evaluation at this stage. I'm glad he's so talented and glad he's improving his game in ways that are obvious even within the first 21 games of the season. I can't wait to see where he stands by this time next year.
    Last edited by wuck; 02-04-2012 at 01:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Kyrie Irving

    Man, I just don't understand this debate in here.

    Clearly the kid has star, if not superstar, potential. He's a legit #1 pick and should be the franchise cornerstone for our next decade. He is also young and, while far more mature than most players, still has a lot to learn and work on. His passing is not elite yet, but he has only played a handful of NBA games and is learning what passes can and cannot be made here vs. in the NCAA. His defense is not up to par, but defense is VERY learnable, and he's already showing strides. You could scour game tape from the first 5 games, and I doubt you'd see him fight over a pick once. But now I see him trying. He doesn't always succeed, but he's trying to get skinny and fight through.

    So, the kid is NOT an elite point guard yet as some of you guys want to say he is. He is also NOT a scrub and barely better than Ramon Sessions as others of you want to say he is.

    But all in all, I just don't know how anyone can not see that he is much closer to star/franchise material than he is to bust.

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    Default Re: Kyrie Irving

    Quote Originally Posted by Primetime23 View Post
    JonfromVA seems to be one of the only person with an open mind about evaluating Kyrie. Just thought I would chime in and say that because it seems popular to gang up on him.
    The thread hasn't really recovered since Jon referred to Kyrie as a "rich man's Gibson". Im not saying he is wrong about anything certain, but his evaluation may come off to some posters as nit-picking more than anything. It also doesn't help also when you make posts saying there is an arguement that Mike Conley is better than Kyrie.

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