No Time For Cavs’ Irving To Go No ‘Dimes’

 

Maybe it was the bruised index finger on Kyrie Irving’s left hand that threw off the equilibrium of his game against Dallas Saturday night. Maybe it was the four-game losing streak his Cleveland Cavaliers already were riding and an urgency to do something – too much of something – that can grip young, talented players.

Whatever it was, it wound up ugly and rare: A performance in which Irving scored 26 points but accounted for exactly zero rebounds and zero assists in the home loss to Dallas.

Look, the Cavaliers’ main problem – as it’s been all season – was defense; Dallas shot 51.4 percent, including 10-of-23 from the arc, and Cleveland ranks 29th in defensive rating (109.5).

And as Irving noted afterward, “I was still finding the open man, but sometimes the shots just don’t fall.” His Cavs teammates shot a combined 33.3% (25-of-75), which made his 11-of-21 blistering by comparison.

Then there was the finger bruise, as reported by Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:

Irving had the rare stat line of 26 points, no rebounds and no assists. He said it was the first time in his life he didn’t have an assist.

The Cavs have typically struggled at the start of the fourth quarter when Irving is resting, but he was available for the fourth Saturday, since he injured his left index finger and spent most of the third quarter getting it examined.

X-rays were negative and Irving returned with the finger taped, but it affected him in the fourth quarter.

“I wasn’t feeling comfortable putting the ball in my left hand,” he said. “Attacking the rim, I only had one hand, so I was trying to force shots over Chris Kaman. It definitely affected me, but it still doesn’t defeat the fact we need to get stops on the defensive end.”

Nor does it defeat the idea that someone with a bum finger (even on his preferred non-shooting hand) might have been better off distributing rather than forcing. Cleveland’s non-Irving participants in the fourth quarter shot 5-for-12. The whole team had just two assists in that period.

For perspective’s sake, Irving’s Mavericks counterpart Darren Collison shot 5-of-8 but had a game-high eight assists. Irving is the better player by far overall, but not on this night, not in this game.

For even more perspective, there’s this: Forget the rebounds – that’s not really his job – and forget all the shooting guards that have posted stats lines like this one. The last legit point guard who took at least 21 field-goal attempts in an NBA game (regular season or playoff) and passed for no assists whatsoever was Houston’s Steve Francis. More than 10 years ago. That’s not the sort of company Irving wants to keep.

26 Comments

  1. The Spaz says:

    Man but could Francis dunk…

  2. tyrone says:

    the NBA has sometimes been rigged, it should be unpredictable. super teams ruin everything. the Heat are going to be in the finals.

  3. Dikeater says:

    Kevin Love is overrated a PF shooting 41% is NOT good.

    • dattebayo says:

      His career percentages are .457 from the field, .372 from deep and .823 at the line. K-Love was 6th in the MVP voting last year and averaged 15 rebounds the season before. He resigned for 4 years and 60 million, how is that overrated?
      Blake Griffin couldn’t score outside the paint last year and got a max contract extension from the Clippers, that is overrated.

  4. Berdugo says:

    In this time in this league, it’ll require a minimum of 3 stars/superstars to be able to compete for the championship. Heck almost every playoff team can have an All-Star First Five.

  5. elmer says:

    LOSERS!

  6. sholmes87 says:

    Well Franck, there’s always the ‘off” button on your remote. If you’re not enjoying it, by all means turn it off. The audience always has the right to walk out if the performance is too bad.

  7. lami997 says:

    I thought someone said he’s the mvp next year or something.

  8. jeff says:

    Just to let you know The Nuggets, The Timberwolves and the Rockets are very underated,
    The Nuggets have a extremely balanced team with a strong frontcourt( yes Javale Mcgee improevd a lot) .
    The timberwolves are lacking two all-star players. (Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio_
    And houston are not really bad since their team is filled with young players.

  9. deemstot says:

    if you get guys open shots and they don’t make it it’s not your fault…

  10. cameron says:

    basketball has always been a game which is dominated by the same teams. from the celtics run in the 60’s, to the lakers and celtics in the 80’s. even through out the 90’s, when the bulls didn’t win it was the rockets. since, we’ve seen another lakers three peat, the spurs domination, and we can see a heat, thunder, clippers dominance for the next few years.
    the cavaliers will be a good team, especially with the rookie contracts of irving, thompson and waiters. if these three players want to usher in a new era of the NBA, they will need to want to stay in cleveland and work on what they have. the rookie contracts are designed in such a way that the teams can keep these powerful rookies for at least 4 years, it is up to the unselfishness of the players to change the competitive nature of the NBA

  11. Daniel says:

    I have to agree with Hayo, this “feat” was accomplished by Allen Iverson in 2006, while no doubt a scoring point guard, he certainly cannot be called a 2 guard or even combo guard.

  12. Kely says:

    C’mon give him a break, it’s not like he didn’t try to involve his teammates…the reallity is that aside Irving nobody couldn’t put the ball in the basket…

  13. Rúben says:

    When Jordan was playing in the 90’s, you knew the bulls were going to the finals (and win it, since nobody even won 3 games to them), but i bet you loved it back then. It’s already been proved the Heat can be beat, but yes, probably not in the East. Doesnt make it less spetacular.

  14. Hayo says:

    Isn’t Allen Iverson a “legit point guard” ?

  15. R says:

    Being a piston fan, i don’t really victimize the bad teams in the league. Kyrie Irving can score best and if he had a bruised index finger, i don’t really hold it against him for not being able to grab any boards or dish effectively. I’m hoping he’ll bounce back next game.

  16. Franck says:

    Maybe the cavs just have a terrible team and there is little Kyrie can do… Teams like Cavs, Raptors, Bobcats, pistons, kings, wizards magic, hawks, Twolves, Blazers, jazz, nuggest, warriors, suns, rockets, hornets they will never ever make any noise this season…seriously its a terrible time to be a NBA fan, watered down league, athletes running the game and super teams ruining the game. infact we all know the heat will be in the finals, so the question is why bother with 82 games! and on the west side there are maybe 3 teams that could reach the finals. Great times to be a fan… NOT

    • A good time to be a basketball fan says:

      actually its a great time to be an nba fan and your not an nba fan because the teams you listed have been making noise. Heat are good their only competition in the east is the Knicks who have pulled it together and have a deeper team than the heat. Most of heats bench or role players are at the end of their career. East is actually better this year and has more balance this year. West is a toss up for the 8 spots for playoffs. everyteam is near or above .500 on the west and the kings on paper considering their talent look like a playoff team. Bobcats can finally score more then 80 points a game. Rockets have harden and bunch of good talent. Timberwolves just injury plagued. Nuggets are hella funt o watch especially cause their all athletic, blazers have liliard and batum who goes off defensively and offensively, Jazz need to get more wings in exchange for some of their bigs. Anthony davis has been going off in new orleans without eric gordon, Suns are right around .500, wizards just dont have key players. And no one cares about the dwightless Magic and the pistons have good talent but not a real good front office and staff otherwise

    • celtic533 says:

      Actually the T-Wolves have been making noise and the hornets and Blazers have been interesting to watch cuz of their rookies.the Nuggets as always will be an exiting team to watch but fails in the playoffs due to the wests extreme competitiveness. The Rockets have been making headlines as well cuz of James Harden.All these teams you mention are young developing teams so cut them some slack.There have been plently of surprises so far this season so stop riding on the heat bandwagon and apreciate the Talent of the nba.

      • celtic533 says:

        Another point i was gonna make.Yeah it was a lot more fun to watch when it was Lebron on the Cavs,Wade on the Heat,Dwight on themagic, Kobe on the lakers etfc. Almost every team had a star and they were all somewhat contenders but whichever team won was whichever superstar carried them the best and won the clashes with the other superstar.

    • Dennis - Bulls Fan says:

      Hate to say it, but you’re right bro. Theres maybe 2-3 teams that have a chance. Superteams. Its rubbish.

      You want get no Nuggets sweep of the Sonics this year.

      • tyrone says:

        Maybe, remember how D-Rose got injured (he’s still out) and the Sixers took advantage of it and destroyed the Bulls. But then, you might be right. We might never see an 8th seed team make the NBA finals since the Ewing-led Knicks in 1999 (who sadly got pwn by the Spurs)

    • NBA Dough says:

      Franck. Very good points. I agree with super teams runing the league and watering it down. Yes, the heat will be in the finals in a weak weak weak East (only knicks have a chance imo) But to answer your question….”Why bother with 82 games”. It is quite simple…..$$$

    • QuestionMark says:

      Alot of those teams are making noise, Bobcats are playing well actually, T-Wolves improved and we have yet to see what they are capable of since Love and Rubio aren’t back, Nuggets started slow, but with their team they will get better, Rockets have been making the most noise thanks to Harden being the top scorer so far this season. Since when are there superteams? There is A superteam which is Miami, the Lakers are but they still have alot of proving to do. You can’t really say the Heat will make the Finals, the Celtics are still strong and were up 3-2 against Miami, and I think got better, yes they lost Ray Allen, but they did get Terry, who is a better player than Ray, Bradley is good and can play great defense, Lee can play, and Green is back. Knicks are also playing strong, as long as Stoudemire can fit in, so there are challenges for Miami, they are the favourites to make the Finals but not guaranteed, you also forgot the Pacers gave a Heat a run for their money last season in the Playoffs, and they can do it again this season. As for the West, there are the Thunder, the Spurs and the Lakers, one of those teams most likely will make the Finals, but that doesn’t mean a team like the Nuggets or the Grizzlies (Who are playing terrific basketball so far, and have the bigs to match Dwight and Gasol) can’t pull an upset.

      • tyrone says:

        You are right, many teams are making some noise. Bobcats have went above the .500% mark since 2010 when they were led by Stephen jackson, Tyson chandler, and Gerald ‘Crash’ Wallace.

  17. shepherd says:

    cut him some slack, he’ll bounce back next game