This one really isn’t up for the debate, the unanimous answer for who’s starting at the point guard position come opening night is Kyrie Irving.
In 67 contests with the Boston Celtics last season, Irving compiled averages of 23.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.9 assists while shooting a very efficient 48.7 percent from the field—including a TS% of 59.2 percent.
You want him on the court to start off games to set a precedent and he can also close teams out; see his famous step-back three over the outstretched arms of Steph Curry in Game 7 of the ’16 Finals. But that’s just a small sample size.
He’s one of the better closers we have in the league, according to nbaminer.com, with less than five minutes to play in the 4th quarter or overtime with neither team ahead by five or more points, Irving shot 57/115…or 49.6 percent from the field, and 36.6 percent from distance.
Irving is one of the craftier players in league history, he’s adept at finishing at the rim with either hand and is a nightmare in isolation plays beyond the perimeter. He’s a superstar entering the prime years of his career.
He’s going to be hungry, he didn’t necessarily play well against the Bucks in the second round of this year’s playoffs and is going to want to prove the naysayers wrong about his fit within a locker room.
It may take time to build a rapport with his new teammates but once this team clicks—especially when KD returns—the east is in trouble.