Why Kyrie Irving's performance will make or break the Cavs Title Hopes

LeBron James is the best player in basketball, but that means he's a known commodity. Kyrie Irving will have to be at his best for the Cavaliers to take home a second straight title. Will he?

Kyrie Irving has never been outplayed by a point guard for an entire playoff series. The 2015 playoffs saw him play worlds better than Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose in rounds one and two. Kyrie only played two games against the Hawks in round three before breaking his kneecap in overtime of game one of the Finals. That's two full series and two dominant performances.

The 2016 playoffs saw Kyrie shoot Reggie Jackson out of the gym in round one, take his pick of Teague and Schroder in round two (Kyrie went 12-18 on three-pointers in this round), and average almost two steals a game vs. Kyle Lowry in round three. Lowry and Irving's stats were comparable in the series, but Irving had the edge thanks to the Cavs winning the series convincingly. In the Finals, Kyrie Irving averaged more points, assists, and steals than back-to-back MVP Stephen Curry while shooting a better percentage in every category. In game seven, Curry was 4-14 on three-pointers while Irving went 2-5, including one pretty memorable one.