I’ll admit….I was skeptical about this kid. The Cavaliers using their number one overall pick on a guy that only played eleven games during his entire collegiate career?! Are you kidding me?! Don’t get me wrong, the numbers he put up during those eleven games were impressive – 17.5 PPG, 4.3 APG, 3.4 RPG and 1.5 SPG. But in the end, I think we can all agree that eleven games is a small sample size to base expectations off of and I thought that Chris Grant and the Cavaliers were nuts for drafting him.
Well I was wrong and Mr. Grant made the absolutely, positively correct pick. Through the first 23 games of this lockout-shortened season, Irving is averaging 18 PPG, 5.1 APG, 3.5 RPG, and 1 SPG. Oh and I failed to mention that he is shooting 41.3% from behind the arc. WOW! Who thought that Cleveland would hit the lottery twice in one decade?! I certainly didn’t.
In my humble opinion, there is really only one other rookie that can compete with Irving for Rookie of the Year honors – Ricky Rubio. Spanish Fly is indeed a good and flashy player, but Irving is by far the better player and competitor. Rubio has been playing professionally for years – we know what we are getting with him. Irving, on the other hand, only played eleven games in his career at Duke. As the season progresses, so will Irving – this guy will continue to get better and better and better.
In fact, he will become so good that he will cause yet another uproar in Cleveland when he bolts via free agency and becomes the second player in ten years that Dan Gilbert writes a poorly worded letter to…this time in crayon.