Kyrie Irving had a career year in 2014-15, putting up 21.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.5 steals while reaching the playoffs for the first time as well as the NBA Finals. Although he had a great season, there are still some glaring parts of Kyrie’s game that he can improve on. here are five things Kyrie Irving can improve for the 2015-16 season, starting with number five:
5. Better Perimeter Defense
Kyrie plays in an era of point guards. Every title contender has a good point guard. Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker and Stephen Curry are the biggest troublemakers that can alter Cleveland’s championship run. The Cavs are lucky enough to have stars at other positions, but other teams don’t have what it takes to stop LeBron James or Kevin Love. If Irving’s defense improves then the other point guards won’t be able to score as they used to do. Irving can be a key player in determining Cleveland’s championship runs over the next few years.
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4. Improve Passing Skills
Ever since basketball was founded, the definition of a point guard would be a player that passes more than he scores and gets his teammates involved. This generation of point guards includes some of that kind, but most are great scorers like Irving and Rose or athletic point guards like Westbrook and Wall. Developing into a great passer is much easier that developing into a great scorer. It would also make Irving the keystone of the team’s offense. If Irving improves his passing skills it would then make him one of the most deadly point guards out there.
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3. Basketball I.Q.
Kyrie Irving is lucky enough to be playing with two basketball geniuses so early in his career. Both LeBron and Love are two of the smartest players in the world and Kyrie must mentally be at the same level. He must understand the plays they want to run and know what they want to do before a play is called. A good point guard should have a high basketball I.Q. as one of his best attributes. Kyrie needs to really understand the game of basketball and be able to see what’s happening on the whole floor at all times so that he can see plays as they develop.
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2. Improve Communication Skills
Unlike the other positions in basketball, the point guard is the voice of the coach on the floor. Whether it’s making offensive or defensive changes, encouraging teammates, or making teammates aware of the time on the clock, you cannot be timid. Even though this has been LeBron’s job over his NBA career, Kyrie could take that load off him. Kyrie has to be able and confident enough to speak loudly and clearly so that all of his teammates can hear him. If your teammates can’t hear you, it’s impossible for every member of your team to be on the same page.
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The ball is the most important possession on the floor and Kyrie should work hard to keep his hands on it on the offensive and and get his hands on it on the defensive end. Whether it’s diving on the floor after loose balls, running after a long rebound, or making a gutsy defensive stop, a scrappy all-out effort will pay huge dividends for your team. Irving needs to play like Dellavedova did in the Finals. He behaved like the ball is his wallet and nobody was able to take it from him.