Rookie Point Guard Debut Redux

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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Welcome to the fish bowl Kyrie Irving!

You didn’t really think that six-month stint at Duke was going to prepare you for what you’ll face on a nightly basis as the face of the franchise in Cleveland, did you?

A bad game at Duke might have been overlooked. But a 2-for-12 shooting display (with 7 assists) and being outplayed bu your backup, Ramon Sessions, in your regular season debut will fire up the doomsday headlines … the News-Herald predictably dubbed Irving’s first game a “dud”:

It was an NBA debut to forget.

Rookie point guard Kyrie Irving’s first game was anything but memorable, as the Cavaliers were pelted by the Toronto Raptors, 104-96, on Monday at Quicken Loans Arena.

Irving, the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, finished with just six points, seven assists and three rebounds. He shot 2 of 12 from the field, 1 of 5 from beyond the arc and committed one turnover in 26 minutes.

“It’s just one game,” Irving said. “It’s a learning process. I didn’t shoot the ball particularly well.”
Cavs coach Byron Scott made the announcement that Irving was his starter after Monday’s shootaround. There’s no turning back now, especially after backup Ramon Sessions had a game-high 18 points and six assists.

Sessions connected on 6 of 12 from the field and 2 of 4 from 3-point range. That was significant, since Sessions made three 3-pointers in 81 games last season.

Scott thought about letting Sessions finish the game since he had sparked the Cavs’ comeback late in the third quarter and early in the fourth.

“I want to learn what (Irving) can do,” Scott said.

On this night, it wasn’t much.

Might we suggest a little perspective for the Cavaliers fans worrying themselves after just one game that the franchise has made a mistake. The last two point guard Rookies of the Year had humble beginnings to their NBA careers as well. Tyreke Evans managed just 10 points on 5-for-10 shooting with two assists and three turnovers in his debut, while Derrick Rose posted 11 points on 3-for-9 shooting with nine assists and four turnovers in his curtain raising.

Young point guards of all shapes and sizes like Irving, Ricky Rubio (six points, six assists and five rebounds in 26 minutes as a reserve), Jimmer Fredette (six points, three assists and a rebound in his 26 minutes) and HT fave Kemba Walker (13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and the game-sealing free throws) will all be held to an unbelievably high standard of play this season based on the recent successes of predecessors like Evans, Rose, Russell Westbrook, John WallBrandon Jennings and others.

The common thread connecting all of these youngsters is that time is needed for their games to mature, especially when you factor in what position they play.

Irving, and all of these rookies, will be fine with a little more time.

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6 Comments

  1. Liz says:

    We aren’t worried- at least I’m not. And the LAST thing we want is another Lebron! Cleveland fans know how to be patient and we don’t come down hard on a guy who has one sub-par game. As long as Irving- and the rest of the team- try their best and are always getting better, we’re good with that.

  2. fans says:

    All the videos in nba.com stutter or choppy….using latest flash player. It’s fine in other websites….ie youtube, vimeo etc…but not in nba.com :(

  3. Karlo Garcia says:

    The only step back the Cleveland fans r going 2 get is if they expect Kyrie Irving 2 b a clone like Lebron James.

  4. Guilherme Müller says:

    Cleveland is going through a rebuilding process, they will have a lot of cap space after Jamison contract expires and some good picks for future drafts.
    So the situation is very flexible right now. The Cavs have a chance to be a new Oklahoma City Thunder if the future drafts go well. also, with a big cap space they can go shopping on the next few years of free agency.
    Kyrie Irving AND TRISTAN THOMPSON(don’t forget about him) are just part of a long term process.

  5. mattman says:

    many people will look at the 2011 NBA draft and call it a complete bust..an unproven 19 year old gets drafted with the first pick to a team that needs a star caliber player for its revival? tall order if you ask me but I don’t call that a draft bust in terms of the player, I call it a front office bust because Cleveland needs proven talent to win right now and shouldn’t be rolling the dice..i think that Irving will be a good player in this league but it’s going to take some time..time that I don’t think Cleveland can afford right now

    mindofmattman.blogspot.com

    • ReDirkulous says:

      Clevland are rebuilding. They have the time to let Irving mature and grow in his game. The only reason Cleveland might feel hurried is because the fans still havent moved on from the winning days with Lebron. They were bad before he came and they were bad after so its fine to wipe the slate and start again. Is Irving the right pick for them? A good point guard is better than a good player at another position in the long term and Irving is playing under Byron Scott. They’ll be alright.