NBA Draft 2011: Rating Every Aspect of Kyrie Irving's Game 2K11-Style
There's a real good chance that former Duke point guard Kyrie Irving will be selected with the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
He's been the top prospect on ESPN draft guru Chad Ford's big board for several weeks now. At least half the lottery teams would use the top pick on Irving if they're lucky enough to get it.
This article will examine every aspect of Irving's game. I'm going to give him a score that can range from 25-100 on each of the attributes players have in the popular basketball simulation, NBA 2K11...
Other 2K11-Style Prospect Profiles
You can follow Andy Bailey on Twitter @_Andy_Bailey
Dominant Hand: Right
Position: Point Guard
Play Style: All-Around
Secondary Position: N/A
Weight: 180 lbs.
According to most draft experts, Kyrie Irving is the best guard in this year's crop of prospects. He's a true point guard who can handle the ball, distribute the ball, and he's proven to be a great shooter too.
Some have already compared to Irving to Chris Paul in terms of his athleticism, style of play and body.
He's not quite as athletic as some of the league's other young point guards like John Wall or Derrick Rose, but he could very well become a smarter player.
Shot Inside: 82
This attribute refers to shots right around the rim. A lot of the guards on the game have a low rating here (maybe just because they're not down there much).
Irving will convert most of his opportunities in the paint.
Shot Close: 81
This refers to shots from around the 5'-15' range. Irving is solid around this range right now. He'll certainly improve over the next couple years.
Shot Medium: 77
Irving is solid from about 15' to the three-point line. Just like most NBA rookie point guards, he'll need some work from this range.
Shot 3PT: 79
He was a very good three-point shooter during the 11 games he played this past season. He hit 18 of his 39 three-point attempts (46 percent).
His percentage will dip a bit as he transitions to the NBA three-point line, but he should develop into a solid, if not great outside shooter.
Shot Low Post: 35
Irving probably won't spend much time posting up during his career. That said, this shot isn't a terribly important skill for him to develop.
Free Throw: 86
He was a great free throw shooter this year, making 64 of his 71 attempts from the line. This is one skill that almost directly transfers to the next level.
He's not the biggest point guard, but Irving demonstrated the ability to get to the rim and finish over bigger defenders several times this past season.
He didn't dunk much at Duke, but he definitely can.
Standing Dunk: 25
We'll almost certainly never see a standing dunk from Irving in the NBA.
Shoot Off Dribble: 71
He showed a solid ability to set up his jump shot off the dribble while he was at Duke.
Shoot in Traffic: 67
Being on a team with several other good players, Irving got more open looks than Kemba Walker or Jimmer Fredette. He did take some shots in traffic though.
He's pretty good here, but can definitely improve.
Point Guard Skills
Ball Handle: 83
Irving handles the ball extremely well for a 19-year old. He won't look quite as good against NBA defenders, but he'll still be solid for a rookie.
Off-Hand Dribbling: 80
He's very good with both hands, so I kept his off-hand attribute pretty close to overall ball handling.
Ball Security: 75
Irving averaged a fairly low 2.5 turnovers a game. Like I said with ball handling, NBA defenses are tougher and his turnovers are bound to go up a bit.
He demonstrated solid passing ability at Duke, and experts rave about his skill in that regard, but his numbers didn't really reflect any of that. He averaged a solid, but not great 4.3 assists a game.
I'm not saying he'll be a bad passer or distributor at the next level, but it will probably take a year or two to get where many think he can.
This refers to a player's ability to catch the ball. Irving will be fine here.
Irving blocked six shots in his 11 games at Duke. He won't get too many at the next level.
His quickness and instincts helped him average a solid 1.5 steals a game as a freshman for Duke. It will be a lot harder to take the ball from NBA players, but he'll still get a decent amount.
On-Ball Defense: 76
Irving has shown the ability to be a lock-down defender at the college level. He'll enter the league as an already above average on-ball defender.
Offense Rebound: 39
He'll be able to grab a few offensive rebounds a game here or there.
Defense Rebound: 43
For the season, Irving averaged 3.4 rebounds a game. That's not bad for a college point guard. As an NBA rookie, he'll probably be around 2.5-3 a game.
Offense Low Post: 35
As an NBA player, we're not going to see Kyrie Irving spending much time on the block with his back to the basket.
Defense Low Post: 36
For at least his first couple years, he'll be at a great disadvantage against bigger point guards down low.
Offense Awareness: 70
Irving displayed a great deal of awareness and a solid basketball IQ for a 19-year old player. He did a very good job of running one of the most high-profile teams in the country.
There will be a learning curve in adjusting to the NBA game though.
Defense Awareness: 66
It will take him some time to adjust on this end of the floor as well.
Offense Clutch: 35
He only played in 11 games this year and didn't have many opportunities to take a last shot. Playing with Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler made that even less likely to happen.
He'll have to prove he can make big shots before he gets some love here.
Defense Clutch: 30
He probably won't be guarding the go-to guy in critical moments, at least not at the beginning of his career.
He may still come up with a few big plays on defense.
The game says this attribute refers to a player's ability to get out of a shooting slump. As I've said so many times in this slideshow, Irving is great here for a 19-year old.
His shooting percentages were excellent this past season. He hit 53 percent from the field, 46 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the free throw line.
I'm sure Irving's conditioning is fine, but he hasn't really proved it yet. He played less than 30 minutes a game this year.
He was one of the fastest players in the college game, but may find himself lagging behind the likes of Russell Westbrook or Derrick Rose.
He may not be the fastest player in the league, but Irving has a great burst and first step.
At 6'2" and 180 lbs, he already has a pretty good body for an NBA point guard. He's probably not as strong as Deron Williams or Jason Kidd, but not many point guards are.
Irving certainly doesn't play above the rim, but he has displayed decent jumping ability this year.
Irving definitely worked hard while he was on the floor this year. His hustle and hard work will help him learn the NBA game fairly quickly.
I've mentioned several times that Irving only played in 11 games this past year. Injuries were the reason for his short season.
There's no real reason to believe this will lead to Odenesque issues, but he still has to prove he's durable.
I think Kyrie Irving has the potential to be one of the best point guards in the league. He joins a growing trend--point guards are taking over the league.
Irving seemed pretty level-headed throughout the season. I doubt his emotions will get the best of him very often.
Like I said at the start, there's a very good chance Kyrie Irving is this year's top overall pick.
With the skills he already has, he could be the starting point guard for a few of the lottery teams. As a starter, he should have a good shot at rookie of the year.