I'll be the first to tell you that you can't really draw any meaningful conclusions from one game. There are too many variables, too many intangibles, too much chance to say anything with any degree of certainty from one game. You just can't do it.
That said, did you see what Kyrie Irving did to Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers last night? 24 points, 10 assists, his second career double-double. A mind-blowing no-look pass to Tyler Zeller. Drawing the defense to allow Dion Waiters to land seven three-point attempts. A three-point dagger to seal the game right in the face of Deandre Jordan.
Are you not entertained?
It was a marquee match-up for fans of point guards. Due to injuries, this was the first time that Kyrie Irving and Chris Paul would meet on the hardwood. And, beyond a shadow of a doubt, Kyrie Irving looked to be the better player. At least for one night. While one game means little in the vast picture of the NBA season, there is one thing that's crystal clear after last night. Kyrie Irving shifts into another gear the first time he faces off against an All-Star point guard.
Would you believe me if I said that Kyrie Irving has lead the Cavaliers to victory the first time he's faced off against any point guard selected to the All-Star game since 2011 except one? Outside of a loss to Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs, Kyrie Irving has led his team to victory every single time he's faced off against All-Star competition for the first time. And he's looked incredible each and every time. Don't believe me? Take a look:
- Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets: 13 points of 5-11 shooting (3-4 behind the arc), 4 assists, 3 rebounds. Cavaliers win 98-82. This was Kyrie's fourth game as a professional!
- Steve Nash and the Pheonix Suns: 26 points on 11-17 shooting (2-4 behind the arc), 6 assists, 3 rebounds. Cavaliers win 101-90. Kyrie sets an early career high for points and makes Marcin Gortat look like a fool with a ridiculous spin move.
- Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics: 23 points on 10-14 shooting (1-2 behind the arc), 6 assists, 4 rebounds. Cavaliers win 88-87 thanks to a game-winning layup from Kyrie in front of the hostile Garden crowd.
- Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder: 9 points on 4-12 shooting (0-1 from behind the arc), 12 assists, 4 rebounds. Cavaliers win 96-90. Even though he had an off shooting night, Kyrie's passing abilties fed his teammates to shock the Thunder at home and snap a 14 game home winning streak.