The point guard.
Like the quarterback in football, the ace starting pitcher in baseball and the stud goalie in hockey, the point guard is definitely the most critical player to consider when building a basketball team.
Not to say that teams can't win without stud point guards, but if a team can start the contending process by building around a great lead guard, it puts that team in a great place.
The Cleveland Cavaliers just might be finding themselves in that place, with not one good lead guard to build around, but two.
Kyrie Irving was selected with the first overall pick in this year's NBA draft, and is expected to be the face of the franchise for years to come. So far this season, Irving looks like he fits right in, both on the Cavaliers, and in the NBA.
Averaging over 13 points and five assists per game, Irving has shown very little issue getting accustomed to the speed of the NBA. Sure, he's had a couple hiccups.
His debut, a six-point game against Toronto, or his missed layup at the end of regulation in Indiana, aren't his most shining moments. For a young point guard, however, he seems to be way ahead of the game. That's a great sign for the Cavaliers.
Ramon Sessions enters the 2011-2012 season with lower expectations than Irving faces.
In his fourth full season in the NBA, Sessions is experiencing something that is not familiar for him to this point in his career—starting a year with the same team he played on the year before. His play has been very strong to this point, and that factor surely has something to do with his production.
Currently being used as the reserve point guard, Sessions is averaging over 11 points and five assists per game. His three-point and free-throw percentages are higher than any other point in his career. Sessions is on pace to follow up his terrific 2010-2011 season with perhaps an even better 2011-2012.
So which point guard should Byron Scott have as his full time starter?
At this point in time, it's a toss up between Irving and Sessions offensively.
Both players are quick, smart with the ball, spectacular passers and make their teammates better.
Sessions has drastically improved his outside shooting, an area Irving would have been given the edge before the season started.
The Cavaliers are virtually the same team right now with either Irving and Sessions running the offense.
Defense is where Kyrie Irving has, and will continue to, set himself apart from Ramon Sessions.
Irving is a proactive defender who has the quickness and ability to stay in front of the quick point guards in the league. Sessions certainly doesn't lack quickness, but he doesn't seem to have the ability to master the intricacies of defending basic NBA plays.
In short, Sessions will defend as well as the team defends each game. Irving will set the tone on defense with his ball pressure. This is what truly sets Irving apart from Sessions.
Add that to the fact that he's only five games into his career, and producing as well as Ramon Sessions, and it should be clear that Irving has the potential to develop quickly into the point guard the Cavaliers envisioned when they made him the No. 1 pick in June.
In any case, the Cavaliers are very fortunate to have two very capable point guards on the roster when so many teams have trouble just finding one.
The light at the end of the tunnel of the Cavaliers' rebuilding process is shining brightly from the lead guard position.
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