Having Kyrie Irving on your team is a true definition of a blessing and a curse.
He can do all of these moves that bring out the oohs and aahs from the crowd, and when he hits the shot the whole arena explodes. Irving can even go for 50 when he’s rolling as we all witnessed. It’s truly a blessing of having the ultimate bail out card in your deck for any type of situation.
But then the flip side of it are moments like this. Taking the ball up the court, he decides he’ll go 1 on 5. Of course he gets closed down on the drive, so decides to back up. At this moment you have a big man going full speed towards the basket, and 2 shooters wide open at the 3 point line. Irving instead opts for a double pump, fadeaway with a hand in his face. And when that doesn’t go in, it leaves the teammates feeling some type of way you know?
And before you kill me in the comment for hating on a 50 point night. Just hear me out and notice the familiar pattern from last year in Boston. Let me show it to you. What up everybody my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check, let’s get into it.
As strange as this sounds, my issue is not the typical forced up shot. The hero ball type that every NBA superstar shoots at least a few times a game when he maybe should have passed it. My issue in particular are the shots where nobody else touches the ball.
Right here you have a good defensive possession ending in a steal, so as the offense is getting ready to set, Kyrie runs into frame gets the ball and raises up from waaaay downtown and actually makes it. Crowd goes crazy! What a shot by Irving. Buuut in a similar situation when it doesn’t go in like here for example, as a teammate you kinda feel like you’re doing the hard work just so that your star player can fire away whenever he wants. And as you can see there have been quite a few of these end to end possessions where only Kyrie has the ball and shoots it. He made some and missed some ending the game with 51% from the field. So could I argue against that. Hear me out: Last year in Boston he ended the season with nearly 49% from the field, almost equally as impressive percentage that he sustained for the entire year. That’s a great stat. Aaaand he got voted as second team all NBA. So he had a monster season. A monster individual season that is. Individual. On the other hand, as a team, we saw the Celtics have one of the most hectic, stormy, wild seasons in a long time. And the reason for most of it was of course Kyrie Irving.
I always remember this great quote from Charles Barkley that directly impacts Kyrie: I’m paraphrasing here but Chuck basically said, I knew I can always get my shot. Anytime I want. But my job was to always find ways to get the others involved. Provide and open up opportunities for my teammates and make the entire team better.
There is also another one by Gregg Popovich talking about Kawhi during his time in San Antonio. He said something along the lines of: Kawhi became a great player when he understood that when I call a play for him, it’s not always for Kawhi to score.
And if you think about it this makes perfect sense. Kyrie it seems is still struggling to understand that so whenever he sees daylight he lets it fly.
I’m not saying that he should turn to Jason Kidd but just get everyone some touches, let them feel the basketball, get them excited about playing defense which everyone is after they score a basket. Do that, be more team oriented. That’s what a leader is. 50 points on 51% is a great scorer. A leader is much more than that.
It’s just the first game so everyone seemed supportive even when he missed the last shot. But how long is this patience going to last before guys like Levert or Dinwiddie decide that they would also like to shoot more. Similar to Tatum, Brown and Rozier for example last year on the Celtics. Let’s see how this is gonna develop.
That’s it for now, if you liked this video, subscribe and hit the notification bell so that you don’t miss my future in depth analysis. Talk to you in the next one. Peace out.
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