Prepare yourself for an obvious statement: the Cleveland Cavaliers are building their franchise around Kyrie Irving. Why shouldn’t they? He is a high caliber point guard with a Chris Paul look to him. Irving will shoot the three, break the defender down off the dribble, pull up for a jump shot, drive the lane, and he can distribute the basketball. His passing might not be at the level of Paul, but Irving is improving in that area each year.
Friday night, Irving put all those talents on display for the Orlando Magic. The point guard dropped 31 points and five assists, leading the Cavs to a 109-100 victory. Dion Waiters added 21 points and Anderson Varejao had a team high 14 rebounds.
It’s safe to say that Irving has the skills to be an NBA star and lead the Cavaliers back to to the top of the East, but there is something missing. The Cavaliers are missing an important piece to take the next step. They have a great back court duo in Irving and Waiters; there are also some nice bench pieces for Mike Brown to work with in Varejao, Jarret Jack and Earl Clark. The final piece to the puzzle is a leading big man, someone in the post who can hold his own against some of the monster in the East and West.
The Cavs took a chance on Andrew Bynum, but let’s be honest, he won’t ever be much of a force in the league again. Other than Varejao and Bynum, there are no significant front court players on the roster. It would go a long way to have someone in the post to help space the floor for Irving and Waiters. Varejao is a garbage player who works on put-backs and hustle plays.
The Cavaliers and the City of Cleveland have come a long way since LeBron James broke their hearts. The pieces are slowly being picked up, but you never can quite mend a broken heart.