Sunday, January 29th, 2012

LeBron James compares Kyrie Irving to Chris Paul : Irving gets called out for his defense

Published on January 25, 2012 by Scott Shirley   ·   No Comments

Kyrie Irving is now what LeBron James used to be the star of the Cleveland Cavilers. Both are former number one picks and great talents. Wall was injured most of the college basketball season last year and Duke but was still the number one pick in the draft.

So there were still some questions about Irving play coming into this season. However has answered those question so far with play in the young NBA season.

So far this season Irving is averaging 17.4 points , 4.8 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 50 % from the field and 42 % from three.

Last night the Cavs traveled to Miami to play James and the Heat. The Heat won the game 92 to 85. Irving was impressive and the best player for the Cavs in his first game head to head with James. He had 17 points on 7 of 11 shooting from the field. He also had 4 assists. James had 18 points.

So what does James think about Irving? James told Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida about Iriving. He told him Irving reminds him of Chris Paul.

“He reminds me of (Chris Paul) early in his days, as well,” said James…. “They definitely remind me of each other. Just how in control, and how they think the game. They show that you’re not in like a rookie mindset. You’re trying to put guys in a position to succeed. I’ve been looking forward to going against him. . . . He’s definitely beyond his years as a rookie point guard.”

I kind of agree with James: Irving is not the explosive athlete like Derrick Rose or John Wall. He is a true point guard that sees the floor well and is so fundamentally sound. Irving is also a good shooter especially from three. Irving also knows how to get to the rim. So in someway Irving is just like Paul. He is not close to the player Paul is yet but with hard work he can compare to Paul someday.

Maybe Irving’s weakness defense? This is no a surprise especially for a rookie. According to Cavs head coach Bryon Scott called out Irving’s defense.

[Byron] Scott met with his rookie point guard Saturday in Atlanta to discuss the youngster’s lax defense, which has been a source of consternation for the coach since the season started. In his most pointed comments to date, Scott said Irving’s minutes won’t increase until the No. 1 overall draft pick elevates his defensive intensity.

If Watson can, as Scott said, “go around [Irving] like he was standing still,” imagine what trouble Rose or other elite point guards will cause him.

I have no problem with Scott doing this. He is just trying to get the best out of Irving.

Right now Irving is my favorite to win NBA Rookie of the Year, sorry Ricky Rubio.

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