Per Jason Lloyd’s final thoughts (always a must read for Cavaliers fans) from last night’s Cavaliers-Hawks game, two league executives think that Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving is pouting.
From Lloyd’s final thoughts:
I asked him tonight after the cameras and recorders were put away if his arm is still bothering him, but he said no. Irving fell on his right arm during the second game of the season at Charlotte and complained of numbness. He said afterward it affected his shot and he was taken for x-rays, but they revealed nothing and Irving was back for the next game. Irving is sensitive to his injury history, and I thought perhaps he is playing through some sort of discomfort in the arm to keep from admitting he’s hurt again. But he said no, so we move on.
Irving’s performance is baffling not only fans and his teammates, but other executives around the league. Players in the locker room have told me on multiple occasions he’s missing shots he never missed before. “He’s pouting,” was the explanation I’ve heard recently from two league executives.
Also of note:
This isn’t to lay all the blame for this season’s terrible 6-13 start on Irving, but this was supposed to be the season he elevated into the league’s elite circles. The third year is often the critical year when many superstars – and their teams – take an enormous step forward. Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and LeBron James all made the playoffs for the first time during during their third seasons. All three of their teams won at least 50 games with them in that third season, too. The Thunder jumped from 23 wins to 50, the Cavs climbed from 42 to 50 and the Hornets went from 39 to 56 wins in those third seasons. The Cavs, in Irving’s third year, are on pace to win 26 games – two more than last season.
All in all, this isn’t the end of the world, but it is a tad bit worrisome. Irving hasn’t been himself once this season. Is it the injuries? Is it the new teammates? Or is it something else?