Kyrie Irving spoke with Dime Magazine about his offseason, new teammates and his preparation for the 2013-14 regular season. Irving and the Cavs are excited about their new additions, especially Jarrett Jack and Andrew Bynum, and hope to make the playoffs as a contender rather than just limping in.
Those are lofty goals for a team that hasn't made the playoffs since LeBron James left town, but the Cavs' new squad might have enough to make some noise this year, and look on track to be tough out in the next couple of seasons. That's due to the hard work Ivring has put in for the franchise, as well as the efforts of Tristan Thompson. The two form the foundation of the young Cavs, and while Irving has made a household name for himself in his first two seasons, Thompson hasn't broken out quite yet. That could all change this season, as Thompson is becoming possibly the first NBA player ever to switch shooting hands mid-career.
Irving broke down how the change is going.
Dime: Tristan [Thompson]. We were watching the shooting hand change, and looked at some video from last season because he only attempted something like 10 shots outside of 15 feet. Did you notice that or did you talk to him about the shooting-hand change?
KI: We were in — I can’t remember exactly where — but Coach [Byron] Scott was like ‘let’s practice shooting right-handed.’ We compared it. We compared his free throws, and Tristan was just joking around. But his right hand looks way better than his left. We all can say Tristan’s shot was disgusting from the free throw line. It was disgusting to watch, and I’ll tell him that too. But it went in 58 percent of the time [Eds Note: 60.8 percent], and now he changed it and shot 78 percent in the FIBA World Games playing for Canada. That’s a drastic change. For him to make that sacrifice for our team, we commend him and it’s going to make our team that much better.
Dime: It’s tough to do that mid-career [switch shooting hands] —
KI: — But we did the calculations. Every NBA game last year, was decided by 2.6 points. If Tristan goes from 58 percent to 78 percent, he gets us 1.25 points, I think.
Dime:Wow. So you guys really broke it down?
KI: Oh yeah, we broke it down. It’s gonna be fun to see.
It certainly is, especially when Thompson is guarded tightly and has the option of shooting with either hand.
He's not the only one working on his jumper, though. Irving says he's adding a floater to his game this season. Watch out, NBA.