Another Risky #1 Pick

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NBA #1 Pick Kyrie Irving

We all know that the draft, in all sports, is a gamble. The NBA Draft on Thursday was being hailed as a “weak draft” but somehow Kyrie Irving of Duke was being touted as the #1 pick to Cleveland. It proved true as the Cavaliers begin to rebuild.
More and more, it seems that the draft is based purely on potential. In many ways it always is because you never really know how a player will adapt to the next level. Even in the real world, the workforce hires a kid fresh out of college based on potential. My concern or question is where is potential based on.
Back in the good ol days when basketball players played in college and we got to know them, fans could relate the college careers toward potential in the NBA. Now the draft is made up of unknown international players or high school talents that nobody has seen play.
Then there is Irving. He only played one year of college, and only 11 games this past season. Why? He had a toe injury which adds another layer on the gambling table – is he and will he be fully recovered. Just based on that, is he worthy of the #1 pick? What he has on his resume that is a plus is his talent and the fact he was recruited and signed at Duke. If there is any college coach I respect in regards to judging talent and recruiting the right way (I am confident that Irving was qualified to be a student at Duke), it is Coach K. So that fact alone tells me he is bright, mature, and skilled enough for the demanding Mike Krzyzewski to give him the reigns as the freshman point guard.

Maybe that is all that is needed.

Kidd is the Key

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Yes, I just watched game 3 of the NBA Finals, the 2 point victory by the Heat in Dallas. Watching the post game show with my idol Magic Johnson as one of the analysts, I have to partly agree with his analysis. For Dallas to recover and win this series, their other starters must play at their best to support Nowitzki because Miami has more talent.
My personal spin on it is that I specifically look at the veteran Jason Kidd as the key for Dallas. I have always fallen in line with this way of thinking:
1. The point guard is the most critical position on a basketball team
2. Veterans have deep influence on the performance of the team.
At this point in his career, he is not able to stay with D Wade defensively on every possession. Then again, who can. But he is there with him and that tells me his years in the NBA and high basketball IQ gives him enough supplemental weapons that his legs did 7 years ago. And he will make plays when it is most needed, like in the last 2 minutes. Do you notice how quickly he can see a teammate down the floor and whip a pass down the court, even on a shot clock violation?  There will be a big play coming soon for the Mavericks.
There is one person on a team that can get the other starters to perform on a higher level – the respected veteran. The head coach can demand it. But in the NBA, the respected veteran can bring it out.
The key for Dallas is how Jason Kidd will perform, and how well HE can get his teammates to jump on his train.