Fantasy Basketball 2013: Stop Worrying, Kyrie Irving Is Back
If you somehow managed to buy low, consider yourself a god.
After investing a top-10 pick on him, many fantasy owners were a bit worried about Kyrie Irving after a rather slow start. In his first three games, he failed to score 20 or more points and was shooting terribly from the field. Many started wondering whether or not he truly is an elite fantasy point guard. To that, I offer three words of advice.
Kyrie was always going to be awesome. He’s an insanely skilled player who will constantly see the one thing that appeals fantasy owners to almost anyone in any sport.
We are seeing Irving return to his scoring ways. Over his last three contests, Irving is averaging 28 points per game, including a monster 41-point, five-assist, four-rebound, two-steal performance. We all know what Kyrie can do with the ball in his hands. A dynamic attacker of the rim with ball handling to get through tight spaces and finish strong. He can obviously drain the deep ball with ease. However, with a better supporting cast around him in 2013, I expected him to take a step forward in the assist department. One year removed from averaging an okay 5.9 assists per game, Kyrie is sitting at 6.9 per game. The volume as a whole is there, but the assist volume is increased from last season, as Irving is averaging about 60 passes per game. He is also seeing a healthy 12.3 assist opportunities per game, which is inside the top-15 in the league.
Obviously, the Cavs offense runs through Kyrie. The best player on the team, Irving is averaging 84.3 offensive touches per game, which is the eighth-most in basketball. He is one of only 11 players to have at least 900 total touches on the season, and is also logging about 35 minutes per game. If the Cavaliers are serious in their attempts at a playoff run, Kyrie will have to get them there. Also, assist totals could skyrocket if center Andrew Bynum, who is slowly getting healthier, can become even half of his former self.
There aren’t going to be many more players in the league seeing as much of a workload as Kyrie this season.
Hopefully you didn’t panic and move Kyrie for less than what he’s worth. There really isn’t much to dislike about the third-year player, just as long as he can stay healthy, which is the only question mark. Chris Paul and Stephen Curry are the only other fantasy point guards I would prefer over Kyrie for the rest of the season. And yes, I’m a Cavs fan.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.