Wednesday December 11th, 2013

As noted in Monday's installment of The Fundamentals, it's been a rough start to the season for Kyrie Irving. The typically potent shooter was hoisting in greater volume than ever for the Cavs, but at his least efficient clip yet. On a very related note, Cleveland ranked as one of the very worst offenses in the league, and as of Monday held a 7-13 record -- a disappointing turnout for a playoff hopeful.

But a game against the Knicks is good for the soul, and allowed both Irving and the Cavs to get back on track with their second straight win. Irving, in particular, was sensational; he scored 37 points on just 23 shots, and posted 11 assists to just a single turnover. On top of it all, he was just cruel to Knicks guard Pablo Prigioni, who drew Irving's defensive assignment for much of the night and caught a particularly nasty string of crossovers on this particular play.

In Prigioni's defense, he keeps up with Irving longer than most defenders might. He's on-balance for the first crossover, and manages to hop above the screen on the second. But Prigioni bit hard on the third without considering the possibility that Irving could veer back, and wound up fighting around the screen in the complete opposite direction. Brutal stuff.

The kicker, though: Irving's dekes are so convincing that even Tristan Thompson, his teammate setting the screen, is a bit clueless as to which way he might go. Pegging Kyrie off the bounce is just that tough in situations like this one. H/T: r/NBA

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