Kyrie Irving: Hardwood Magician

DrewDawg

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Very cool article.

And Jaylen Brown is old school:

"His feet. His feet are always moving," Celtics teammate Jaylen Brown said. "He has good handle, of course. But his feet, he can change pace at a drop of a dime.
 

Ed Hillel

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I dont either. But for a different reason. I think something is physically wrong with him. Fact is, Rozier is better right now.
I’m starting to think the same and wonder if his entire about face on publicly addressing free agency and saying he wanted to stay is related. I hope I am wrong and being overly cynical, but something ain’t right with him right now. I would assume it’s the knee.
 

bsj

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I’m starting to think the same and wonder if his entire about face on publicly addressing free agency and saying he wanted to stay is related. I hope I am wrong and being overly cynical, but something ain’t right with him right now. I would assume it’s the knee.
Yeah. I knew he and Hayward would both need time to adjust, but I thought Hayward had the harder climb...Gordon seems to be finding his zone better. He had a really good game last night.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I’m starting to think the same and wonder if his entire about face on publicly addressing free agency and saying he wanted to stay is related. I hope I am wrong and being overly cynical, but something ain’t right with him right now. I would assume it’s the knee.
I questioned his variation of announcing the Brinks Truck backing up as well. Kyrie doesn't look right.....whether it's his knee or his role and that is concerning. We will need him 100% in the spring.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I don't buy it.
Really? Curious to know why.

KI is passing up a ton of shots to get better shots for other people. How many times last night has be driven the lane only to kick out to an open wing? He's doing it with much more regularity than ever before.

And I think he took one pull-up 3P early in the shot clock all game, which is a lot less than he would in the past.

KI knows he is the leader of this team (you can see it in the way he gives tips to other players). If he is passing up shots - particularly on a contract year - no one else can complain, It's actually a pretty amazing thing for him to do,

The most interesting to me is if this will affect his K negotiations for next year.
 

lovegtm

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I'm not getting worried yet. Either he'll work himself back into shape, and the new, lower-scoring mentality will serve him well, or the knee problem is degenerative, we know in April, and the Celtics roll with Rozier next year. The latter would suck, but the Celtics have options.

If he does end up being fine, last night was a tantalizing vision of how good he can be without scoring. Check out the videos in this CelticsBlog post:
https://www.celticsblog.com/2018/10/28/18033780/kyrie-irving-on-new-boston-celtics-role-be-cool-detroit-pistons-three-points-five-assists

In multiple cases, he beat his defender 1-on-1, attacked the paint, drew 3 guys, and made the right pass. If you can regularly win your matchup and generate wide-open 3s for Gordon Hayward, Marcus Morris, and Jaylen Brown, your team is going to score a LOT of points.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I'm not getting worried yet. Either he'll work himself back into shape, and the new, lower-scoring mentality will serve him well, or the knee problem is degenerative, we know in April, and the Celtics roll with Rozier next year. The latter would suck, but the Celtics have options.

If he does end up being fine, last night was a tantalizing vision of how good he can be without scoring. Check out the videos in this CelticsBlog post:
https://www.celticsblog.com/2018/10/28/18033780/kyrie-irving-on-new-boston-celtics-role-be-cool-detroit-pistons-three-points-five-assists

In multiple cases, he beat his defender 1-on-1, attacked the paint, drew 3 guys, and made the right pass. If you can regularly win your matchup and generate wide-open 3s for Gordon Hayward, Marcus Morris, and Jaylen Brown, your team is going to score a LOT of points.
Rolling with Rozier can't be taken for granted as he will be a UFA so there will be other suitors. What if say Phoenix puts a max on the table which Ainge wouldn't likely counter with a competitive offer and Kyrie is damaged goods? There is a greater than zero chance of neither being here next season. This is going to be a very interesting lead up to the summer for sure.
 

lovegtm

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Rolling with Rozier can't be taken for granted as he will be a UFA so there will be other suitors. What if say Phoenix puts a max on the table which Ainge wouldn't likely counter with a competitive offer and Kyrie is damaged goods? There is a greater than zero chance of neither being here next season. This is going to be a very interesting lead up to the summer for sure.
If Kyrie is damaged goods, Phoenix would think that Ainge is much more likely to match, which decreases the chance they make the offer in the first place. I also think there's a decent chance Ainge actually matches, as long as Rozier had shown improvement this year.

There's definitely a > 0 chance of neither being here, but Kyrie being injured probably lowers the expected contract Rozier gets, due to the nature of RFA.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Terry Rozier is a restricted free agent next year
I keep forgetting Rozier is a RFA in that he's a guy in my mind that Ainge won't match if the offer is close to a max. In this context it wouldn't matter but I do stand corrected.
 

lexrageorge

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I'm not quite as willing to dismiss Kyrie's words. In the FWIW department, Kyrie has a positive DPM this season, and Reggie Jackson had a really bad game last night. It's one game, and Kyrie seemed genuinely happy that his team beat what had been a tough Pistons team.

We'll know more in December than we know today. And we'll indeed know even more come April. For now, Kyrie's production is something to watch, but nothing yet to be overly concerned about.
 

lovegtm

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I keep forgetting Rozier is a RFA in that he's a guy in my mind that Ainge won't match if the offer is close to a max. In this context it wouldn't matter but I do stand corrected.
Ainge's willingness to pay Smart and his affection for Rozier help him in the poker game of RFA, if it comes to that. Teams will marginally up their mental odds that he would match a max, and become marginally less likely to offer one. If Phoenix strikes out on everyone, it's a moot point, but they'd be more likely to take another bird in the hand early in FA.

The glut of quality point guards in the league also helps here. I have to look at the list of UFAs, but there should be some quality options available for far less than the max.

All this said, like lexrageorge, I'm not really worried about Kyrie yet.
 

benhogan

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Ainge's willingness to pay Smart and his affection for Rozier help him in the poker game of RFA, if it comes to that. Teams will marginally up their mental odds that he would match a max, and become marginally less likely to offer one. If Phoenix strikes out on everyone, it's a moot point, but they'd be more likely to take another bird in the hand early in FA.

The glut of quality point guards in the league also helps here. I have to look at the list of UFAs, but there should be some quality options available for far less than the max.

All this said, like lexrageorge, I'm not really worried about Kyrie yet.
quick list: Kyrie, Goran Dragic, Kemba, Bledsoe, Rozier, Rubio, Tyreke Evans, D'Angelo Russell, Brogdon, Dinwiddie, Rondo, Beverly, Collison, IT4
 

amarshal2

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He’s going to be at .500/.400/.900 at 20 ppg in a couple months and this thread is going to look dumb.
 

amarshal2

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I dont either. But for a different reason. I think something is physically wrong with him. Fact is, Rozier is better right now.
I’m starting to think the same and wonder if his entire about face on publicly addressing free agency and saying he wanted to stay is related. I hope I am wrong and being overly cynical, but something ain’t right with him right now. I would assume it’s the knee.
I questioned his variation of announcing the Brinks Truck backing up as well. Kyrie doesn't look right.....whether it's his knee or his role and that is concerning. We will need him 100% in the spring.
And like that Kyrie looked like Kyrie. I never saw anything physical that was concerning. Just some rust.
 

joe dokes

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It was his haircut.
Tommy said it was his waistline:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/celtics/2018/10/30/celtics/QgyzCLOz7f42eTJhwddkGJ/story.html

On Oct. 20, former Celtics great and current NBC Sports Boston television analyst Tommy Heinsohn offered a mild critique of point guard Kyrie Irving, saying the point guard appeared a bit out of shape and overweight, and that his timing and quickness were “maybe an instant slower than he’s been.”

Then on Saturday night, Heinsohn had a similar take, saying he believed Irving was about 5 pounds overweight.
During his postgame television interview with NBC Sports Boston, Irving was asked if he felt a bit sleeker thanks to his new close-cropped haircut. Irving smiled and said that was possible, then added, “Shout out to my man Tommy Heinsohn, though. Real talk, he got me in shape.”

[snip]

“It was bothering me because it was the most honest thing that anyone had said about the way I was playing,” Irving said, “because I literally had to try to match a level that I was playing at last year, but also become better. So how do you do that? I had to really put an emphasis on my body and how I’m taking care of my mind. That was one of the realest things that I could have heard.”

Irving said that the day after he heard Heinsohn’s comments, he was on the exercise bike and a stair machine “doing everything possible to make sure I could prepare my body for what’s to come.”
 

bsj

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He definitely looked like his old self. And looked better than rozier again. I don’t expect 30 a game. But if he is living in the 17-24 range, along with 2 other guys, with another couple
In the 12-16 range, that’s what I expect from a team this deep

Looking at their stats to date, even despite a slow start, it’s exactly what I hoped in that there are 10 legit offensive contributors.
 

Imbricus

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So ... Kyrie's shoulder? Issue or not? I read that he was icing it after game. Praying, praying, praying it's fine.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Nothing official, but he said he thinks it would be OK.

I wouldn't be shocked if he sits out Saturday, though - one advantage of a deep roster is sitting guys out strategically.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Nothing official, but he said he thinks it would be OK.

I wouldn't be shocked if he sits out Saturday, though - one advantage of a deep roster is sitting guys out strategically.
Absolutely. Using my "two-man plan" I give our Australian Connection the Bulls game off. It's gets them heathy and allows minutes for Rozier and Jaylen in more smallball lineups.
 

DrewDawg

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If it's just a 1 game "Rest" thing, then I do not count that as an issue. Fingers crossed.
 

Jimbodandy

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If it's just a 1 game "Rest" thing, then I do not count that as an issue. Fingers crossed.
He was on the bench rubbing it, eventually putting on the ice packs. If it popped in any way, Kyrie and the trainers have him in the locker room right away.

A day off wouldn't kill him though.
 

HomeRunBaker

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And allows Brad to unleash the Time Lord.
Now that Markkanen is back that pushed Robin Lopez to the bench so the Bulls don't play a true 5 at all. Bad matchup for Time Lord and a good night for Baynes to get full rest.
 

bosox79

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Now that Markkanen is back that pushed Robin Lopez to the bench so the Bulls don't play a true 5 at all. Bad matchup for Time Lord and a good night for Baynes to get full rest.
Bobby Portis and Kris Dunn may play tonight, too. If they do, both probably sit tomorrow. If they don't, both will probably play tomorrow.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Bobby Portis and Kris Dunn may play tonight, too. If they do, both probably sit tomorrow. If they don't, both will probably play tomorrow.
Where are you seeing this? Neither has been medically cleared to play yet as far as I know.
 

slamminsammya

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Was fantastic, but man, he should have dribbled that out and tried to kill a few more seconds. He is an 87% Ft shooter. Probably a greater chance he makes both free throws than he threads that pass to Tatum
You're assuming he draws a foul. And at 85% fts its only a 72% chance he makes both.
 

slamminsammya

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Youre right, I misremembered and thought there was like a 6 second difference game and shot clock. Posession started with 23 seconds left
 

lovegtm

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Don't look now, but Kyrie is #5 in the league in RPM, and #4 in ORPM. With all the usual RPM caveats (absolute rankings are off, but directionally it has value), this is really impressive. After hot starts for Dame and Kemba, Kyrie has moved into the top of "scoring guards who aren't Steph" category. The dude is absolutely a top 10 player in the league now, without even taking into account how much better his shit works in the playoffs--his regular season attempts are already high difficulty against loaded-up defenses.

Also, knock on wood, he's looked really healthy all year now that the knee is cleaned out.
 

DrewDawg

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Also, knock on wood, he's looked really healthy all year now that the knee is cleaned out.
Jalen Rose was on the other night--said it's hard for folks to understand that if guys miss that much time it takes a while to get your sea legs back. People see you play and you look healthy and don't really understand that there's still more to work through. And he was speaking specifically of Kyrie. Said he expects him to get better and better as the year goes on, and the same with Hayward.
 

lovegtm

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Jalen Rose was on the other night--said it's hard for folks to understand that if guys miss that much time it takes a while to get your sea legs back. People see you play and you look healthy and don't really understand that there's still more to work through. And he was speaking specifically of Kyrie. Said he expects him to get better and better as the year goes on, and the same with Hayward.
And here I thought I was the over-optimistic homer :)

Seriously though, "better than now" Kyrie is an MVP candidate, particularly with playoff value considered.
 

Curtis Pride

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I just wanted to post that it was really enjoyable watching the way Kyrie sliced and diced the Sixers defense the other night. His play stole a win from the jaws of defeat, and that could be valuable during the playoffs.

He was a No. 1 draft pick, got saddled with some bad teams in Cleveland, then had to play in LeBron's shadow for a couple of years, so it took a while for him to shine. I think he has more opportunities to shine these days, and that's what we're seeing now.

And people say that he could be even better? That would be awesome.
 

chilidawg

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Don't look now, but Kyrie is #5 in the league in RPM, and #4 in ORPM. With all the usual RPM caveats (absolute rankings are off, but directionally it has value), this is really impressive. After hot starts for Dame and Kemba, Kyrie has moved into the top of "scoring guards who aren't Steph" category. The dude is absolutely a top 10 player in the league now, without even taking into account how much better his shit works in the playoffs--his regular season attempts are already high difficulty against loaded-up defenses.

Also, knock on wood, he's looked really healthy all year now that the knee is cleaned out.
Even better is that his DRPM is 6th among point guards (Smart is first). Celtics can be a truly elite defensive team with Irving impacting that end as well.