NBA Rising Stars Game 2012: Kyrie Irving Showed Us Why He's an Elite Point Guard - Bleacher Report

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Kyrie Irving went into Cleveland and took control of a team that finished 19-63 in 2010-11. Now, he's in control of a team that is right on the bubble for a playoff berth and a team full of all the best rookies in the NBA.

Irving's 34 points and 8-8 three-point shooting caught the eye of everyone who watched the Rising Stars challenge, as he led Team Chuck over Team Shaq, 146-133.

Blake Griffin had some nice dunks, but Irving stole the show on Friday night. The game's MVP showed us all what he can do by shooting amazingly well. Too bad it didn't happen during the regular season. Still, Irving has done very well during the regular season, living up to the expectations that being the No. 1 pick set.

In 19 of Cleveland's 31 games this season, Irving has racked up 16 or more points.

For those of you that haven't been watching, he's the real deal.

Ever since LeBron James left Cleveland, the city has been known as a basketball dumpster rather than a basketball palace. Irving's no LeBron James, but with a strong second half, he can bring basketball back to Cleveland.

With an above-.500 second half, the Cavs should be able to sneak into the playoffs, which could possibly mean they would face off against the Heat, where LeBron James resides.

And it's all thanks to Irving.

Irving proved himself last night, and he has two more great chances right after the All-Star break. The Cavs, the ninth seed in the East, take on the Celtics and Knicks, the eighth and seventh seeds respectively, on the Tuesday and Wednesday after the break.

The Duke graduate averages over 18 points and five assists per game, and he's carried a struggling team to some degree of success in 2011-12

Whether he's leading Team Chuck or Cleveland, Irving's going to do something special. By leading Cleveland back to the playoffs, he could really prove that he is elite and is part of the next generation of point guards.

And it all started last night.

26 Feb, 2012

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