That’s an interesting question. There’s no doubting that Kyrie Irving has had a pretty remarkable rookie season so far, but has it been all-star worthy? Has he done enough in his short time in the league to earn himself a seat at the table with the big boys come all-star weekend? You can certainly make a case despite the stiff competition he is up against for one of those cherished spots as a reserve on the Eastern squad.
The contenders to back up starting point guard Derrick Rose are:
- Rajon Rondo: 13.8 pointts/5.1 reboundss/9.5 assits/18.9 player efficiency rating
- Deron Williams: 20.4 pts/3.6 rbs/8.6 ast/ 19.5 PER
- Brandon Jennings: 20 pts/ 3.3 rbs/ 5.4 ast/ 20.5 PER
- John Wall: 16pts/ 5.3 rbs/ 7.1 ast/ 16.7 PER
Those are the legit contenders in the Eastern conference to fill out the back up point guard duties. Of course, honorable mention should go Jameer Nelson of Orlando, and the two-headed monster in Philly of Jrue Holliday and Lou Willams, but I just don’t think they have the stats to warrant a selection (the best case could be made for Lou Williams, but he doesn’t even start on his own team. That honor goes to Holliday, so does it make sense he’d get an all-star nod? Probably not).
Now let’s take a look at the stats Kyrie Irving has put up so far in his rookie campaign:
- Kyrie Irving: 18.1 pts/3.4 rbs/ 5 ast/ 22.1 PER
Irving’s stat are right there with the big boys in the Eastern Conference. He’s also been a more efficient player than any of those four accumulating a player efficiency rating of 22.1 (PER is a per minute measure of efficiency where the league standard is 15. Kyrie is at 22.1, the league leader is LeBron at 32.7). That’s a pretty impressive feat considering Irving is playing on a below average team in which he has been thrust into the role of floor general out of necessity. Boobie Gibson isn’t really a true point guard, he’s a shooting guard in a point guard’s body, and Ramon Sessions, while a good player, just isn’t a player you’d want to build around for the long run.
Another factor than can be thrown into the argument is Irving’s usage rate. Usage rate is a percentage of team plays used by a player while he’s on the floor. Basically, it’s a measure of how much the team uses that player while he’s on the floor, aka who do they run their offense through. As a surprise to no one, the top 5 in the NBA in this category are Kobe, LeBron, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant. Kyrie ranks 11th. In the simplest of terms… he is the Cavs offense. With the exception of Lou Williams, no one else is even in the top 20.
So that brings us back to the question. Is Kyrie Irving an All-Star? I say yes. I feel like he’s done enough to warrant a spot on the all-star team this year. However, the NBA is very political and they just don’t give away spots to rookies. Even LeBron didn’t make the all-star team as a rookie. If I was a betting man I would wager on Rondo and Deron Williams getting the final two spots with Kyrie starting for the rookies in the rookie/sophomore game.