Kyrie Irving, the Cleveland Cavaliers starting point guard
After years of being the top team in the Eastern Conference with star LeBron James as the leader, the Cavs are now at the bottom. The decision of James to take his talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat has greatly affected the Cavaliers and Heat.
With no leader after James left, the city of Cleveland didn’t know where to turn. Having a horrid record of 19-63 the year after, the Cavaliers were given the first draft pick. Deciding between Kyrie Irving from Duke or Derrick Williams from Arizona, they chose Kyrie. This turned out to be the right choice because Irving won the rookie of the year and turned into the new leader.
In recent years, Cleveland has added building blocks around Irving such as the 7 foot center Andrew Bynum and the new first round pick Anthony Bennett. The Cavaliers are poised to make a run for the playoffs if these additions work out. Adding the 4th pick in the 2011 draft with Tristan Thompson also turned out to be a great choice due to the fact he has played a key role in the Cavaliers “success”.
Even though Cleveland has had a major downfall after James left, the city has moved on from that and has stopped worrying about Irving leaving. This could be because in an interview a young boy asked him, “Are you going to leave us like LeBron did?” Much excitement was put in the kid’s heart when Irving responded with, “Um, no, I won’t leave. I’m not leaving. “
If the Cavaliers want to make the playoffs and try and make a run I think they need to:
- Make sure Kyrie Irving is still the main player and is getting the most minutes
- Use the bigger players more. They have some of the most dominant players in the post with Andrew Bynum, Tristan Thompson, and Anderson Varejao. If they can use them to their advantage they can be one of the most intimidating post teams.
- Play Earl Clark more at SF and not Anthony Bennett. Yes, I know Anthony Bennett is a great player and he was the first pick but I don’t think he will have much of an impact. Earl Clark has proved he’s a good player but Anthony Bennett needs to prove he can become a threat for the Cavs to play him.
Conclusion: Yes, the Cavaliers will be the 7 or 8 seed in the playoffs.
(PHOTO FROM sports.yahoo.com)
Michigan’s Derrick Walton playing for his AAU team the Michigan Mustangs
The Michigan Wolverines have a tough job replacing their starting point guard who won the Big Ten Player of the Year, National Player of the Year (AP, NABC, Naismith, Robertson, SI, Wooden), NCAA Tournament South Regional Most Outstanding Player, Bob Cousy Award, and was on the NCAA All-Tournament Team, All Big Ten first team, and the Consensus All-American First Team. This man goes by the name of Trey Burke, who was drafted with the ninth pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves and immediately traded to the Utah Jazz. The 6’0” 190 pound point guard from Columbus, Ohio finally achieved his life long goal after being drafted, but how do you replace the most valuable player on the team?
Getting Derrick Walton, the #37 player and 8th ranked point guard in the nation for the 2013 class is a start. Walton has had a lot of pressure thrown on him since he committed in 2011 and knew one day he was going have to replace Burke. He does have many people around him who can help him on his way to stardom. The returning of Mitch McGary and Glen Robinson III helps him have less of a load on his shoulders as they are projected to be the Wolverines top players and scorers this season, hoping McGary’s back injury doesn’t slow him down too much. Walton had been said to be like Burke because there style of play is so similar. While being able to drive straight through the paint, Walton can also make it splash with his jumper.
Of course Walton can’t be the only man to help replace Burke. The player who made his name well known in the NCAA Finals this year was Spike Albrecht. Spike Albrecht, a Sophomore, had the best game in his life scoring 17 points in the first half, going 6-7, 4-4 on three pointers after only averaging one point a game in the regular season. Albrecht came in because of Burke having to leave with two fouls in the first five minutes. Spike is still probably going to be the back up for the Wolverines this year but could contribute major minutes off the bench just like he did in the championship.
I, along with many other Michigan fans would rather have the freshman, Derrick Walton being in the starting five this year due to his ability, not dissing Spike but Walton proved in high school that he has what it takes to replace Burke. While I love the backup point guard know to many as “Spikedaddy” I would like and hope that Walton’s name is on the roster as the starter.