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Kyrie Irving makes All-Star Game

Irving only sixth 20-year-old to make All-Star Game

By Anthony Joki
On February 5, 2013

  • Kyrie Irving takes it to the hoop strong in a Jan. 26 matchup versus the Toronto Raptors. Photo courtsey Cavs.com

Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neil, Isiah Thomas, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James and now Kyrie Irving are the only players to debut in the All-Star Game at age 20. Kobe Bryant debuted at age 19.
Irving has a chance to have a career like those previously mentioned. He is the first All-Star player attending the game from the Cleveland Cavaliers since James in 2010.
Irving is averaging 23.7 points per game, 5.5 assists per game and 3.6 rebounds per game. His point totals are first among point guards and sixth in the NBA.
Irving makes NBA players look like high school players from the way he can dribble around them. His ball-handling skills have been highlighted in the Pepsi Max commercials where he stars as Uncle Drew, an older man who takes his game to the streets to show young athletes how to play the game of basketball.
With Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics going down with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, Irving is the lead candidate to replace him in the starting lineup.
Irving, along with fellow teammates Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller, were all selected to participate in this year's Rising Stars game, which highlights the top rookies and second-year players. Irving is the reigning MVP of the 2012 Rising Stars game. He scored 34 points in the game and had nine assists.
The future is bright for the Cavaliers when 80 percent of the starting lineup is regarded as part of the top rookies and second-year players in the NBA. Thompson is definitely a future All-Star. Since Anderson Varejao went down with his knee injury, this season the light switch for Thompson turned on.
Waiters and Zeller are having a hard time transitioning to the NBA for the Cavaliers. The talent Waiters has is seen in spurts. Waiters is most effective when he slashes and takes the ball to the hole.
Zeller is able to pull down rebounds on a consistent basis. However, his offensive game needs to improve. He is able to hit the 18-foot jump shot, but has to do it on a consistent basis. He needs to learn to not be afraid to put the ball on the floor as well.
Time will tell if the Cavaliers will have a young core such as the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have built their entire team through the draft and have made selective trades to improve the team. If these rookies and sophomores work out, the Cavaliers will have a better overall team than when James played here in Cleveland.
 


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