Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 10/24/14
What’s next for Kyrie Irving? After Monday put a cap on what was undoubtedly the best week to date in the 20-year old’s still-young career, he and those around him – friends, family, teammates, coaches and fans – are left to wonder what the Cavaliers point guard has in store, serving as an encore to one of the best show’s Cleveland has witnessed in recent years. Through much of his time with the Cavaliers, Irving has earned the moniker of “Mr. Fourth Quarter” – late-game heroics and high scoring totals, the sneaky quick guard morphs, like an angered Bruce Banner, into a different player as the game draws closer to completion. Having seen what Irving can do when called upon, Cavs head coach Byron Scott was forced to have a one-on-one with the reigning Rookie of the Year with the objective of enticing the player to take what he has done in many of fourth quarters and extrapolate that over an entire contest. “Be aggressive and your teammates will follow,” Scott iterated. The result, at least early in this new found experimental aggression, was a week to behold when it came to the playing floor: Forty points in a win over the Boston Celtics, 35 more against Milwaukee, and a game-winning three-pointer during the final second of a win in Toronto that was the perfect marriage of Laissez-faire and lethal. ((He was the fifth player in the history of the league to score 30 points in three consecutive nights)). Off of the court, Irving received the nod for Eastern Conference All-Star, becoming just the seventh player ever to get said recognition before turning 21 years of age 1 . Hours after being notified of his inclusion among the league’s elite, Irving would win the 2012 Professional Athlete of the Year Award as voted by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. On Monday, Irving would win the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week Award, encapsulating all that was accomplished over the last 168 hours. Tallying an NBA-best 35.7 points scored on percentages that would be amazing for any player let alone a point guard – 61.2 percent from the floor, 54.5 percent from three-point range and 95.0 percent from the free throw line – Irving contributed to what is currently the Cavaliers’ first three-game winning streak since March of 2012. A win against Golden State on Tuesday night and the Cavaliers, a team that seemingly could not buy a victory unless the starts were properly aligned, could finish the month of January at .500 (7-7). Naturally, Irving focuses his emotions on the latter part of that equation. “This has been a very good week for our team,” Irving said in reference to his Player of the Week award. “We’re working hard and making progress. While I’m honored to win the award this week, the most exciting thing is our success as a team and continuing our focus to get better every day.” [Related: Young and hungry, Kyrie Irving is Cleveland’s new All-Star] An integral ingredient in said focus will be Irving and his continued efforts at remaining aggressive. Twice in the last week, he has reminded those within earshot that he and his head coach had a talk and that he only has to be told something once before it’s ingrained in his mental cloth. Interestingly enough, Irving is starting to show a cerebral part of his game that was less obvious when he was a quiet, lead-by-example rookie on a team in dire need of direction. Today, we’re seeing a player who knew that he had yet to get a win over the Toronto Raptors – “Hell yeah, it was personal,” Irving said following his late-game heroics. We’re seeing a player who has slowed the game down to Matrix-like speeds, allowing him to further contort his body and utilize in-game choreography that few before him have shown, getting to spots on the floor that allow he and his teammates to maximize their effectiveness. This aggression and understanding is leading to fewer turnovers, increased efficiency and, most importantly, wins. The trick, per usual with a young player, will be to ensure that Irving – who is already playing five more minutes per game than he did a season ago – can sustain such aggressive play over the course of a full game, a full week and a full season. Coupling a lockout-shortened season with a bevy of minor injuries, Irving has played just 85 games in the NBA. Each and every one of them has been an ocular marvel; it will be up to Irving and his coaching staff to ensure that there is some more magical fuel left in his 190-pound tank. In the win over Boston, Irving came out firing with a 15-point first quarter, aided by three-balls, incredible drives and a few trips to the foul line. A 19-point fourth quarter was no different as Irving seemingly glided to the rim at will. So where, exactly, do we go from here? For the Cavaliers, it’s to continue to grow and amass wins as we head into the All-Star break where Irving will have very little downtime. For the fans, continue embracing the displays provided by the second-year guard — he’s reaching must-watch-even-if-DVR’d territory with each additional night, even on Saturday night’s when Toronto is the opponent. For Scott, it will be a matter of keeping this team rolling, whether it is with his rotations or continued implementation of the two new players he has been provided by general manager Chris Grant. And for Irving he has perhaps the biggest to-do list of them all: Stay grounded, stay aggressive, keep working, keep growing, become an even better leader, and — at least in the eyes of his head coach – get voted into the 2013-14 All-Star game. “It’s nice to be voted in as a reserve,” said Scott, “but it doesn’t change my message to him — get voted in.” – (David Liam Kyle/Getty Images) ___________________________________ Magic Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are the others – not terrible company to be a part of
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

2014 World Series: Game Three live blog

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

8 NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

NBA Replay Center readies for its debut on Opening Night

WATCH: Former NBAer delivers vicious flying elbow Down Under

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.