The Cleveland Cavaliers built up a 20 point lead against the Dallas Mavericks last night midway through the third quarter, but the game ended up way too close in the end, with the Dallas Mavericks having multiple chances to go for the win.
With LeBron James out, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were expected to step up and lead the Cavs. They did, with Irving contributing 33 points, five rebounds, and one assist while Love put up 23 points, 18 rebounds, and two blocks.
The glaring stat that everyone is still frustrated about is Irving’s single assist in 39 minutes of action. One helper after shooting 13-28 from the field.
According to Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com, some of the Cavs were frustrated with Irving having just one assist last night.
After the game, a few players were puzzled to how their point guard managed to register just one measly assist while playing 39 minutes. They were frustrated, but the win and Irving’s huge defensive play lessened the anger.
The notion within the locker room is that the situation is tolerable, because it isn’t permanent. If the Cavaliers were dealt the misfortune of playing without James for an extended period of time, this locker room would be boiling over.
Players are growing tired of Irving’s inability to not only register a proper amount of assists at the lead guard position, but also to just move the ball.
Of course, the fact that the Cavs won made it a little easier to take in, but one thing is still clear: Irving has to improve his team game. He had to take over multiple times, but with coach Tyronn Lue stressing to move the ball AND stay aggressive, Kyrie seemed to do just one of the two.
Alex Sabri ·
Haynes recalls one of the most confusing moments for Cavs teammates that began to fuel the frustration.
At one point in the second quarter, he dribbled relentlessly for 24 seconds and went nowhere. Dallas’ Chandler Parsons stayed in front of him and let him do all that fancy dribbling in one spot. Irving ended up settling for a tough mid-range jumper that clanked off the rim.
His teammates were in disbelief.
Irving is still very young, and is very much a work in progress. He’s 23, turning 24 later this month, and has only been to the postseason once. Playing under LeBron James, there’s always something for Irving to learn.