"When he was at Duke."-Danny Ainge, CSNNE interview


That's how long Danny Ainge has believed Kyrie Irving was a special. For the past six years he's watched Irving take the league by storm with a streetball handle balanced with a silky smooth jumper, an impeccable ability to finish at the rim, and a bottomless pit of potential.

这是安吉对“何时开始相信凯里-欧文是一名与众不同的球员”的应答。过去的六年间,安吉目睹欧文在联盟中呼风唤雨,他拥有街球手一般的控球平衡力、柔和的跳投手感、无可指摘的禁区终结能力和依旧深不可测的 巨大潜能。

For his first three years, Irving accumulated stats and highlights on a lottery team, developing into what many hoped would be the face of the franchise. But then LeBron James made his triumphant return to the Cavaliers, and Irving went from beginning the next phase of his development to becoming James's little brother.


Three years, three trips to Finals, one legendary shot, a couple broken relationships, and a few burned bridges later, and we're here. Kyrie Irving is a Celtic.


Finally, Irving has a chance to become the face of the franchise like he was promised in Cleveland. But is that who he is? His past suggests not. But at 25 and just entering his prime in a new system, the Celtics are banking on that next leap putting Irving amongst the top superstars in the league.


But understanding how Irving can make that leap requires an understanding of where he came from.


The Cavaliers ran one of the most predictable offenses in the league, but because of the star power on the roster they still managed to be third in offensive efficiency.


Having LeBron James is having a 6-foot-8 floor general. The offense marches to the beat of his drum, and surrounding pieces should all be complimentary to what he wants to do. If James isn't taking a catch-and-shoot shot, he's pounding the ball waiting for that perfect pass that he always seems to make happen.


From a team perspective it's fine—when surrounded with shooters, James can pick defenses apart, and his team racks up points at an impressive rate. But from a player perspective it can be marginalizing, especially for a player with the talents of Irving.


But it's not that simple. Irving was 10th in usage rate last season (right behind James), and he had a career high in attempts. Furthermore, when James came off the floor, Irving's usage rate jumped to the 40s, and the Cavaliers were substantially worse.


That doesn't exactly lead one to believe that he's a potential franchise player just waiting in the wings. But are those numbers really an indictment of him?


When you have the best player in the world, you don't need to be creative because you're simply just better. However, the issue for Irving is that this was not the best use of his ability.


Being either a spacer or isolation player didn't necessarily give him a fair opportunity really run his own offense. The “best” 5-man lineup for Irving that didn't include James was Jefferson, Shumpert, Love, and Thompson.


Love's best chance of creating for himself would be in the post, which he couldn't do with Thompson clogging the lane, and with minimal spacing, it was essentially Irving's job to generate offense in a lineup not built to score.


Maybe if you put LeBron in that same situation the offense is still manageable and running at a net positive. But does that mean Irving can't carry a team, or does that mean Irving can't carry a team built for LeBron?


Whereas no one will ever confuse Irving for James, pundits have often talked about the similarities between Irving and Thomas. Both are score-first dynamite guards with the ability to shoot at all three levels, finish at the rim, and close games.


In Cleveland, Irving's role was limited to what LeBron needed. In Boston, it'll be expanded to fit what the team needs.


A quick snapshot here of frequent types of plays for both players shows a fundamental difference between the systems run in Boston and Cleveland.


The teams had different philosophies.


The Celtics were 2nd in assists, 2nd in passes made, and have an offensive system that mirrors a less powerful version of the Warriors. Boston likes to run offense that gets all five guys involved and focuses less on the individual and more on creating the best shot for the team: Get to the hole, draw extra defenders, find open shooters, and don't be afraid to let it fly.


There's also the difference in the rosters. Thomas got to run the pick and roll with Al Horford, the best passing big man in the game. Unlike Thompson, who's great at rolling hard to the hoop and nothing else, Horford has the full array of skills you could ask for in a big man. He can shoot, post up, or initiate offense for the team.


When Irving isn't on the ball, he'll be running through a multitude of staggered screens and DHOs in an effort to get him going downhill and forcing extra defenders to crash on him.


This style of play will allow Boston to create for Irving through team movement while simultaneously putting him in a stronger position to create a scoring opportunity for the offense.


There will be talk about whether Irving can actually fit in this offense or whether his isolation plays are just who he is. However, I don't think the two styles are mutually exclusive.


Irving is an exceptional isolation player whose one-on-one ability allows him to get by any defender in the league. And let's be perfectly clear here—the ability to score in isolation is not an indictment on a player and is one of the hardest skills to find.


Amongst all NBA players who have a frequency of 18% or more in isolation and average more than 3 possessions per game, Irving is first in ppp and efg%, and the only who ranks higher than the 90th percentile. Notable names on that list include LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook.


Irving gets his own bucket better than anyone. Coach Stevens won't look to stop Irving from making those types of plays, but he'll instead give him other avenues to create offense.


Isolation isn't an efficient offense to build your team around, but that does not mean that it can't be an efficient part of the offense when used in particular situations.


Irving is transitioning from an offense built on putting the ball in the hands of the best players and giving them the burden to create to a team that only requires that a player use his talents to enhance the system.


There will be a period of transition, but there's no mistaking that Irving saw Boston as a situation where he can be a part of something rather than someone—it's now up to him to take that opportunity to grow as a player.


来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20171010/501092.html