The legend of Kyrie Irving continues to grow rapidly in Cleveland and beyond. Recently named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team, Irving is quickly becoming recognized as one of the top players in the NBA. With the recent news of Rajon Rondo’s ACL tear, he may be in line for his first All-Star Game start as well. He deserves it.
Grantland’s Zach Lowe wrote a great piece that included Kyrie as part of his “All-Fun All-Stars”, saying he is “already one of the half-dozen most entertaining players in the league, with an unusual combination of poise, smoothness, explosiveness, and creativity in the lane”.
That’s what happens when you drop 41 points on the Knicks at Madison Square Garden and then later in the season drop another 40 on the Boston Celtics. Never mind the fact that in the Cavs’ last three games (all of them wins), Irving has scored 40, 35, and 32, respectively.
By the way, Kyrie was also named the most recent Player of the Week in the Eastern Conference. Have a week, young blood.
The bottom line is that Uncle Drew gets buckets. Lots of them.
It’s safe to say that Cleveland hasn’t had this sort of excitement around a single player since the “Chosen One” graced us all with his very presence until 2010. While it’s regrettably getting harder and harder to despise LeBron, Kyrie is doing his best to make sure Cleveland returns to prominence as soon as possible.
“The Frozen One” is way cooler of a nickname, anyway. Take that, LeBron.
Unfortunately, Kyrie is listed as questionable for tonight’s game at The Q against the Golden State Warriors with an illness. If he plays, the projected lineup is Irving, Waiters, Gee, Thompson, and Zeller. The full pre-game summary from the Cavaliers is here.
Final thoughts on tonight’s game before we get on with the rest of today’s notes: The maturation of this young team has been slow, but it appears that Byron Scott’s conversation with Irving prior to his explosion against Boston has served as the last reminder he will need to lead by example and be aggressive. It has apparently rubbed off on Tristan Thompson in a big way, too.
Watching the Cavaliers play with Irving at the top of his game has been highly entertaining, and the addition of Speights and Ellington has been a nice little injection of energy into a squad that appears to be turning a corner.
Hopefully, Kyrie will feel good enough to go tonight and be able to lead the Cavs to a nice exclamation point on the month of January.
Here’s the rest of the Daily:
– The Cavs and Heat are reportedly front-runners to sign the injury-plagued and former Ohio State Buckeye, Greg Oden. If anyone can keep him healthy, it’s the Cleveland Clinic.
– The Browns officially introduced new defensive coordinator Ray Horton today in Berea, and Rob Chudzinski added a few new coaches to his staff as well. Watch the press conference here. Hint: Horton is someone to be very excited about. He threw in a mention about the fans that he’s already met and the Dawg Pound, which is a nice touch.
He also still has cornrows.
– The Indians extended their partnership with WTAM 1100 as their primary radio home for five more years, and announced that Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus will remain as announcers. Can’t wait for the first “SWUNG ON AND BELTED! WAAAAY BACK. GONE!” or “STRIKE THREE CALLED. BALLGAME!” of the year. While we’re at it, this is fun…
– Meanwhile, some players in Major League Baseball are still morons. Oy. Here’s the league’s statement on the issue.
– MLB.com will be revealing their Top 100 list of prospects beginning at 9 P.M. You can watch online or on MLB Network. Presumably, newly acquired Trevor Bauer and top prospect Francisco Lindor will be the only two on the list from the Cleveland organization. A cool thing for Cleveland fans that remember the great teams of the ’90s, former GM John Hart will be featured as an analyst on the show. Stay tuned.
– Soundtrack check: “Battle Scars” by Lupe Fiasco.
– Shameless self-promotion: Check out my Section 111 column on The Cardinal Connect tomorrow.
Chat about the Cavs, the top 100 prospects show, or even the U.S. Men’s National Team’s friendly vs. Canada (ESPN2, 9 PM) on Twitter tonight @BelieveInCLE.
Go Cavs. Go America.