Celtics news: Danny Ainge expresses high hopes on Kyrie Irving’s playmaking ability
The basketball world didn’t get much opportunity to see Kyrie Irving’s playmaking ability in Cleveland, but Celtics General Manager and President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge expects that to change now that the All-Star point guard is in Boston.
Ainge admitted that they gave up so much to acquire Irving from the Cavaliers – even adding a second-round pick to complete the deal – but he doesn’t regret anything and claimed that they needed a “special” player like him to bring them to the next level.
In a video posted on Twitter by the Boston Celtics, Ainge talked about the blockbuster trade and expressed his high hopes for Irving, who he said should be able to display the full extent of his passing ability and improve his defense in the Celtics’ system.
“I think you’ll see that he’s a better passer. I think people that watch Kyrie play a lot can see his passing and his potential there as a passer. LeBron was pretty much the point guard in Cleveland and Kyrie was a point guard often when LeBron wasn’t on the court and so forth. I think that he’s a fantastic passer and I think that defensively he’s got to improve and I think he will in Brad’s system.”
Kyrie Irving’s playmaking is certainly an oft-underappreciated facet of his game. After all, he only has a career average of 5.5 assists in his six seasons with the Cavaliers as he established himself as a scoring guard and one of the best finishers at the rim.
However, the 25-year-old has proven that he can be a floor general and influence the game with his passing. He had eight games in the 2016-17 season with more than 10 assists, and the Cavs are undefeated in all of those matches. Interestingly, his scoring didn’t suffer then, missing to hit the 20-point mark just once.
It remains to be seen if Kyrie Irving can do that night in and night out, but it appears that Ainge is confident that he can motivate the four-time All-Star to buy in and become the focal point that he wishes to be.