Kyrie Irving played a fantastic game to lead the Cavaliers to a win over the Clippers Monday — 24 points, 10 assists and he had the dagger three at the end (when for some reason DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe both backed off him and gave him a clean look with the game on the line).
But Chris Paul wanted to see more out of him — he wanted to see his defense.
Cavs coach Byron Scott, as he often does with the opposing team’s best perimeter player, cross matched and put Alonzo Gee on Paul. And Paul told him not to, reports Jason Lloyd of the Plain Dealer (on Sulia):
Apparently at some point during Monday’s Cavs win over the Clippers, Paul jogged by Scott and told him “take him off me” and wanted Kyrie Irving to defend him instead.
“Why you got him guarding me? Let the young fella guard me,” Paul told Scott. “I said, ‘Young fella has guarded you. He said, ‘Well you threw me in the fire, made me guard all those guys.'”
Scott coached Paul, of course, when Paul was just breaking into the league in New Orleans.
CP3 had 17 points and 9 dimes for the Clippers. And he was not the reason the Clippers lost that game. But Irving was the reason the Cavs won.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.