A Case For Kyrie Irving Over Chris Bosh


On Monday, February 3rd, this happened:

Cleveland Cavaliers fans went justifiably crazy. But Cavs fans weren’t the only group of people that went crazy, lots of NBA folks got that wrinkly nose face that happens when something in the room suddenly stinks.

The smell wasn’t coming from the dog this time, though. The smell doesn’t have anything to do with Brian Windhort’s tweets, or the point he is sort of right about. It’s not Miami Heat owner Micky Arison putting pressure on Coach Erik Spoelstra to make sure that the Heat are the first team since the 1990 Western Conference squad that featured Magic Johnson, James Worthy and A. C. Green. (That Lakers team, by the way, touted current Cavs coach Byron Scott as their third leading scorer that season)

Nope. That mysterious smell was coming from the suddenly hip, contrarian argument that Chris Bosh is better than Kyrie Irving and actually deserves the spot.

Let that sink in for a second.

I have two issues with Spoelstra possibly starting Bosh over Irving, and the first isn’t even about Bosh or Irving. Moving LeBron to point guard and starting Bosh as a forward doesn’t follow the two guards and three bigs template that is supposed to be the rule for these things. I’m not debating LeBron’s ability to be a guard, forward, center, coach, play-by-play guy or ticket taker; the guy can do it all. But the All Star Game is supposed to be about showcasing the best team each conference can field within the context of the fan voting rules the league provides.

The NBA Ballot clearly separates frontcourt players from backcourt players. That wasn’t an accident. A commissioner who fixes drafts, pays crooked refs and has firm control of his league wouldn’t have the All Star Ballot constructed in that manner accidentally. Two guards. Three bigs. Reading is fundamental.

My second issue with starting Bosh over Kyrie is a lineup with James at point guard and Bosh shoe-horned between Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett isn’t the best team that the Eastern Conference can run on the court.

Letting LeBron, Anthony and Dwyane Wade play off of Kyrie creativity is the only chance the Eastern Conference has of beating the Western Conference’s starting lineup of Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin.

LeBron can certainly handle point guard duties when needed and Wade and Anthony can certainly handle the wings, but Garnett and Bosh will get eaten alive by Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin. Maybe if Bosh was averaging 23 points and 12 rebounds per game, or when Garnett was putting up 23 points and 13 rebounds per game; but that was five and six years ago. Not 2013. In 2013, Garnett is 136 years old and is showing every bit of his 47,195 NBA minutes on his sleeve and Bosh has gotten so soft that there aren’t any sports blog related jokes that I can come up with to finish this sentence.

And third – I know there was only supposed to be two reasons, and I completely understand that not changing scrolling up to change what I wrote earlier may possibly be the laziest moment in the history of writing – Kyrie Irving is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference and is a top five player at his position across the entire NBA. He’s on his way to being a top five player in the NBA overall. When someone in an NBA circle talks about point guards, Kyrie Irving’s name is always in the conversation.

You know what always comes up in conversations about Chris Bosh? This stuff.

(Oh, and don’t forget that there’s no way Heat GM Pat Riley lets Spoelstra let James and Irving play together long enough for LeBron to start thinking about teaming up with Irving in 2014 the way he thought about teaming up with Wade in 2011.

Hm. LeBron and Kyrie together in Cleveland. That seems like something I should have an opinion about… )


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Josh says things. Here and at Josh Flagner {dot} com. #MTAF #CavsZine