Duke Blue Devils: Kyrie Shoots Blanks Against Pacers

Former Duke Blue Devils point guard continues his enigmatic series against the Indiana Pacers. Thankfully they won the game.

Former Duke Blue Devils star Kyrie Irving might want to thank his lucky stars that he plays on the same team as LeBron James. The Cleveland Cavaliers dug themselves a twenty-six point hole in Game 3 versus the Indiana Pacers and they clawed their way out of it only because James turned in a masterpiece. It was another time when we had to scratch our heads and wonder why the Cavs look so mortal ll of the sudden.

One reason has to be Irving. The point guard once again demonstrated his lack of consistency in playoff basketball. He went from a bad shooting night in Game 1 to a good scoring night in Game 2 and now we are back down to the bad shooting night in Game 3. If Irving has something similar to his Game 2 performance, we are not even talking about this game. We would be waiting for the Pacers to be eliminated so we could move on.

Nope. Irving did score thirteen points while going 4 of seventeen from the field. He was helped by finding the foul line a few times. At least his foul shooting did not leave him as well since the Cavs only won this game by five and Irving made four of his five free throw attempts.

The Cavs also got no help from Irving’s improved three point shooting. He missed all but one on his way to a one of six performance. If he had hit even one more, they would have been much better off.

One of the problems understanding Irving’s highs and lows is that the Pacers do not have a natural defensive matchup for him. Jeff Teague is not that kind of player. Neither is Monta Ellis off the bench. Throw in the reality that defenses have to focus on LeBron anyway, and it is more confusing why Irving can’t impose himself at will.

The Cavs only truly began dangerous in the Finals last year when Irving showed consistency and aggressiveness. The Pacers do not seem to have what it takes to stop the Cavs, but how much better of a team would you really need to up 3-0 on the Cavs right now rather than down 0-3? Let’s hope that Irving never finds out.