Kyrie Irving was the hero of the Cleveland Cavaliers' win over the Dallas Mavericks last night. He scored a game-high 33 points and came up big late with a game-clinching steal in Cleveland's 99-98 win.
Some of Irving's teammates, however, are reportedly frustrated with Irving because he isn't racking up enough assists according to Chris Haynes of cleveland.com. He had one assist vs. the Mavericks and has just four over the past two games.
After the game, a few players were puzzled to how their point guard managed to register just one measly assist while playing 39 minutes. They were frustrated, but the win and Irving's huge defensive play lessened the anger.
The notion within the locker room is that the situation is tolerable, because it isn't permanent. If the Cavaliers were dealt the misfortune of playing without James for an extended period of time, this locker room would be boiling over.
Players are growing tired of Irving's inability to not only register a proper amount of assists at the lead guard position, but also to just move the ball.
Did Irving pass more than once? Of course, but only when he was forced to do so. At one point in the second quarter, he dribbled relentlessly for 24 seconds and went nowhere. Dallas' Chandler Parsons stayed in front of him and let him do all that fancy dribbling in one spot. Irving ended up settling for a tough mid-range jumper that clanked off the rim.
His teammates were in disbelief.
For the year, Irving is avraging 4.5 assists per game, which would be a career low. Last night, for what it's worth, teammates were 1-8 on shots where Irvign would have racked up an assist had they made their shot. For the year, Irving tied with LeBron James for the team lead in passes per game.
This is a tricky debate. What makes Irving so good is his scoring ability and his dribbiing plays a big part in that. But there's also an argument to be made that Irving could pass more in order to improve the flow of the Cavs' offense - especially if LeBron is out - and this might be even more true if it'll make his teammates happy. Somewhere in all of this, there is an achieveable balence.