Kyrie Irving scored 17 points in just under 26 minutes down in Miami during the Cavaliers 7-point loss (92-85) to the Heat on January 24th. At that rate (roughly 0.65 points per minute), if he played 40 minutes, he’d have finished with 26 and the Cavaliers would’ve won by two. Of course nothing at all about the game would’ve been different, besides Kyrie simply adding nine additional points to the Cavaliers total, so I imagine that’s one adjustment the coaching staff is considering. The other would be to figure a way to keep Dwyane Wade out of this one too, because he didn’t play last time, and he is tonight.
Win or lose it’s another fun and interesting test for Kyrie Irving and his Cavaliers tonight to be sure. My hope is they keep it competitive, and I’m starting to think that maybe they expect that after beating Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Dirk Nowitzki recently. As good as those Hall of Famers are though, they aren’t Dwyane Wade or LeBron James in their prime. A LeBron James who comes in, after probably being forced by Pat Riley to operate almost exclusively in the painted area this season, scoring over 29 points per night on a 55.2% clip from the field, and a D-Wade who after coming back from his injury is averging over 23 per night in the last six.
The Heat have won 7 of their last 8 as a team, LeBron is 4-1 against the Cavaliers since he left, but this isn’t about the Miami Heat at all really. It’s about growth, it’s about watching Kyrie continuing to play like an All Star, continuing put up overall numbers that have him ranked 5th in the NBA amongst all Point Guards, and continuing to give his team a chance to win each time he steps on the floor. It’s also about Anderson the double-double machine Varejao, his beast mode performances that have people calling him untouchable, and finding out how this team responds collectively while Daniel Gibson, Anthony Parker, and Tristan Thompson stay home rehabbing their respective injuries.
Tip-off tonight at 7:30. More following the game.
Shout out to Mychel Thompson:
Mychel Thompson’s cool. I talked to him here after his first start, and I ended up talking to him a little bit prior to the Mavericks game too. He’s a good dude, and I just want to wish him the best of luck after getting waived by the Cavaliers yesterday prior to the guaranteed contract deadline later this week.
If you take that 0-6 performance he had out of the mix, he really didn’t play too bad either to be honest. But I understand, you can’t just take an 0-6 performance like that out, I get it. Regardless though, he did hit two big shots against Boston to help Kyrie win that one at the end, scored 8 in his first start, and opened the 3rd quarter on Saturday with two three pointers that went a long way to helping the Cavaliers get back into it.
So in their two signature wins this season, at Boston and at home against Dallas, what I’m saying is that Mychel Thompson should be remembered in his short time here for making big contributions in each of those games. Maybe he’s not done here either, who knows. I’m looking forward to Mychel Thompson getting another shot somewhere down the road though, and when he does, I hope he gets hot at just the right time. Kinda like the Giants did.