On Saturday night as the Cleveland Cavaliers took on the Philadelphia 76ers in their seventh game of the 2013 NBA season, it seemed like Cavs star point guard Kyrie Irving might finally be starting to break out of somewhat of an early season slump that has left many people underwhelmed with the third-year guard.
In that 127-125 overtime victory for the Cavs, Irving was phenomenal as he finished the night with 39 points, 12 assists and five boards while shooting 15-33 from the floor and 5-12 from three. Moreover, Irving only turned the ball over three times over 48 minutes of play that he was on the floor for.
However, the thoughts of Irving breaking out of that slump didn’t last long and were pretty much derailed on Monday night as he had a paltry showing against the Chicago Bulls. In 41 minutes of playing time, Irving finished the night with only 16 points, four assists and two rebounds and shot just 5-19 from the floor while committing three turnovers. Not unrelatedly, the Cavaliers fell to the Bulls by a count of 96-81.
Prior to Monday night’s game, which will certainly lower his statistical averages, Irving is only averaging 19.9 points, eight assists and five boards for the year. Moreover, Irving is only shooting 39.3 percent from the field and just 34.3 percent from three. Even more troubling, though, is Irving’s lack of consistency from game-to-game. One night, he looks as we expected him to look; the next night he can’t get anything going.
A part of Irving’s struggles has to be attributed to the fact that the Cavs’ offense has been a mess in the early going of this season. However, big-time performers and superstars, a level at which Kyrie was being mentioned coming into the year, find a way to get things done and help their team on a consistent basis. Irving hasn’t done that yet this season. Obviously no one is giving up on the Cavs’ guard, but he needs to show more to earn the respect we were ready to give him coming into this season.