The comparison is a natural one.
The last time Cleveland had the No. 1 overall pick it had a no-brainer of a choice and picked LeBron James. Seven years later he left in a messy way. Then the Cavaliers won the top pick in the NBA Draft and they are going to select Kyrie Irving out of Duke.
But don’t start comparing the two, Irving told the Bergen Record at the NBA Draft Lottery.
“I don’t think you can make comparisons to me and LeBron,” said Irving, who attended the lottery. “One, I’m not 6-8. Two, I’m not a high flyer and three, my name isn’t LeBron James. Honestly, you can’t make those comparisons yet. I think I would bring a different feel to the Cleveland organization if they do decide to take me.”
It will be a different feel for sure, Irving is good but he is not the physical force of nature that LeBron is. Irving is more pure point guard who is crazy good if you let him get to his left hand on the drive.
Irving is a good fit with what Byron Scott likes to do on offense. But he is not LeBron or Derrick Rose or even John Wall in terms of impact. As we said before, scouts say more like the impact of Stephen Curry — good, borderline All-Star good, but not top 10 in the game good.
Maybe those scouts are wrong, maybe Irving will be that good and be a franchise cornerstone for a decade. Maybe he can fill LeBron’s shoes in Cleveland. But Irving himself doesn’t want the comparison.
Take comfort, chairs and staffers.
The 76ers have raised Joel Embiid‘s minute limit from 24 to 28.
Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly:
This was never a hard limit. Embiid played more than 24 minutes in five of his 12 games with a high of 27 in an overtime contest. Presumably, the new “limit” will also allow for Embiid to sometimes it.
Embiid’s numbers per 36 minutes are eye-popping: 28.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 3.8 blocks and 6.4 turnovers. A small workload likely factors into his per-minute dominance, and he’s still a long way from typical starter minutes. But I’m interested to see how his production translates over a larger sample.
The 76ers, in their mission to be less bad this season, will also appreciate a few more minutes of Embiid. They defend like the NBA’s second-best defense with him on the floor and the league’s second-worst defense without him. They also score a little better with him. Overall, they get outscored by just 2.2 points per 100 possessions with him and a whopping 14.2 points per 100 possessions without him.
This could give Philadelphia a couple extra wins over the rest of the season. At minimum, it’ll make the 76ers more enjoyable to watch for a few more minutes each game.
Opponents shoot just 41.8% at the rim with Rudy Gobert defending it – which is now second to Hassan Whiteside among the 50 players who defend the most shots at the rim per game.
But James Johnson went up with no fear, scoring two of his 24 points in the Heat’s 111-110 win over the Jazz last night.
The Hornets didn’t just beat the Mavericks, 97-87, last night.
Nicolas Batum got Charlotte style points with this pass through Dwight Powell‘s legs, assisting Cody Zeller.
To be fair, Malcolm Brogdon was already off-balance before Rondae Hollis-Jefferson began his crossover.
To be real, DID YOU SEE BROGDON FALL OVER?