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Kyrie Irving shows his complete game against Pelicans

Irving did it all for the Cavaliers in a victory over the Pelicans, scoring 32 points, dishing out nine assists and only turning the ball over once.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers' offense finally played to its potential in a 118-111 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night, and Kyrie Irving's spectacular play at point guard was a big reason why. Irving finished the night with 32 points, nine assists and five rebounds in 41 minutes:

Perhaps the most notable number is the nine assists. Irving came under fire for scoring 34 points without recording a single assist in 45 minutes in a loss to the Utah Jazz last week. In the two games since, the point guard has racked up 15 assists and the Cavs have averaged 114.0 points in those contests.

Judging a point guard on assists can sometimes be tricky, and Cavaliers head coach David Blatt thinks Irving isn't getting a fair shake. Blatt would instead rather focus the job Irving has done taking care off the ball, according to Chris Fedor of Northeast Ohio Media Group:

"I wish people would make more of (his lack of turnovers) than the 34-point game with no assists game that everybody talks about all the time," Blatt said. "How many point guards in the world do you know that play four games and have one per game? That's an amazing stat. Kyrie is making good decisions, understanding how to feed off other players as well as feed others. He's a great basketball player."

Irving turned the ball over just once against the Pelicans, which is the fourth straight game he has only turned it over one time. Considering he's averaging over 40 minutes in those four outings, that's impressive.

Irving did his best work Monday in the second half after a first half that was mostly uninspiring. The Cavs trailed 56-51 at halftime, and the 22-year-old had five points and five assists while shooting 2-of-7 from the field. He didn't attempt a single free throw in the half and turned the ball over once.

The second half saw a completely different Irving, who helped lead the Cavs to 67 points along with LeBron James and Kevin Love. Irving scored 27 second-half points on 9-of-14 shooting and 3-of-4 from three, and his aggressiveness was highlighted by five shots at the rim and a 6-of-7 mark from the free-throw line.

While Irving was aggressive both scoring and facilitating in the second half, he did it without turning the ball over a single time. Protecting the ball like that and giving the Cavs' talented offensive players more chances to put the ball in the basket makes them all the more dangerous, as evidenced by the dominant second half.

Irving isn't perfect, and there are times when he dribbles too much and stops the offense. His defense, much like the team's as a whole, is a major work in progress, which was displayed by the fact that the Pelicans scored 111 points. The Cavs are giving up the second most points per 100 possessions in the league, per, and that kind of defense isn't championship worthy.

But we got a glimpse of just how dynamic the Cavs' offense can be when Irving and his cohorts are clicking. That type of offense is title contender worthy, and now Cleveland must show they can be consistent. Once that happens, the defense just needs to improve to at least a respectable level for the Cavs to be the juggernaut they were expected to be.


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