When LeBron James left for the Miami Heat it created a huge void that looked to never be filled. But after drafting Kyrie Irving the Cleveland Cavaliers looked like they were back on track to becoming a force in the East. Kyrie Irving is an All-Star point guard that doesn’t have the violent rim attacking tendencies of Derrick Rose, but is a better all-around player with a lighter shooting touch. The skillset was never fully realized since he started to battle injuries, and much like Derrick Rose never realized his full potential. The difference is he didn’t miss entire seasons while injured, and instead suffered from small and medium nagging injuries that just slowed him down. But by the time Derrick Rose started to get destroyed by injuries he had already earned an MVP award, and the Chicago Bulls were prime candidates for multiple NBA titles. Irving peaked as an all-star and has since been up and down in a series of disturbing bursts.
The latest injury is actually all the way from the NBA Finals, where Irving fractured his left kneecap. His ineffectiveness in the finals along with the already sidelined Kevin Love caused the eventual defeat of the Cavs to the Golden State Warriors. In fact the big 3 of Kevin Love, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving has not been nearly as effective or whole as the Celtics original big 3 or LeBron’s Miami trio. To call the Cavs a big 3 would be an insult, evidenced by their winning record without Irving this year. Add to that how Love is still trying to fit into the system, and it’s clear that this team is nothing more than another 1 man LeBron James team. That’s the exact reason James left in the first place which is why this situation is so comical.
The East continues to be a weak division so the Cavaliers will be okay without Irving, which is why they extended his return past the original 3-4 months. By taking it slow they are making sure that they don’t repeat the same mistakes of the Chicago Bulls with Rose, although Irving is still a mystery as far as potential is concerned. By the time he makes it back into the lineup they will have to figure out how to play with each other as a team, especially since the original term never resulted in any chemistry. If one of them ends up getting injured again before the finals, look for LeBron to start questioning if this is where he wants to really be.
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