LeBron James sets ‘next growth’ for Kyrie Irving: ‘Consistently make other guys around him better’

Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers
PHOTOGRAPH: Keith Allison/Flickr | Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James makes sure the Kyrie Irving is on the right path to becoming one of the best players in the NBA. He has seen him improve as a scorer and playmaker since he returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014. In line with his continuous development, “The King” gave an opinion on what Irving’s “next growth” should be.

“Kyrie can score on anybody he wants,” James told ESPN. “ANYBODY. On a consistent level. His next growth, which I believe is going to make him a great, an all-time great, is when he can also consistently make other guys around him better. Which he is doing now. This is great to see. It’s always great to be a part of somebody’s maturation process. You know what I’m saying? I love it.”

Kyrie Irving, LeBron James the perfect combination

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are currently in their third season playing together for the Cavaliers. They led the Cavaliers to two NBA Finals appearances and helped them win their first NBA championship title. So far, the Cavaliers are on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals after sweeping the Toronto Raptors in the second round.

James earned plenty of praises after their Game 4 victory against the Raptors on Sunday night. In 46 minutes on the court, he posted 35 points, nine rebounds, six assists and one block. He shot 50 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from beyond the arc. Irving backs up LeBron with 27 points, nine assists, five rebounds, four steals, and one block.

James and Irving proved to be the perfect combination for the Cavaliers, especially on the offensive end of the floor. Their ability to score and create plays undeniably helped the Cavaliers in the first and second round. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the two superstars combined to score or assist on 92 of the Cavs’ 109 points Sunday.

Kyrie Irving openly accepts role as scorer and playmaker

Some people noticed Irving’s inconsistency as the Cavs’ playmaker in their series against the Raptors. After posting, 10 and 11 assists in the first two games, he only finished with four assists in Game 3. Irving managed to regain his touch in Game 4 and finished with nine assists.

Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue revealed that he should be blamed for Irving’s low assists. Lue admitted the times he urged Irving to be a more aggressive scorer than a playmaker. Irving seems to understand his dual role with the team and vowed to continue improving his performance in the succeeding games.

“Understanding that my effect on the game doesn’t necessarily have to be just shooting the ball all the time,” Irving said. “Just growing with the team I’ve been part of. [My assist totals have] definitely been picked apart since I’ve come into the league, and for me personally, I’ve just always felt like taking over the game came from literally just putting the team on my back and going out there and trying to score as many baskets as possible. But there are so many more facets of the game you can be better at.”

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr

Video courtesy: Youtube/FreeDawkins

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