For a big portion of this spring, we’ve been tracking Kyrie Irving’s production and suggesting that his streaky effectiveness would be something that the PLL, specifically the Chaos, could expect from their players returning from the NLL.
Kyrie took the bulk of the NBA season off because he didn’t want the vaccine. When he became available to play, he would only play away games. The front end of the away trip would be sensational, but the next game would be a 10 point stinker. He just wasn’t used to playing.
This theory was strengthened by their opening round exit.
April 17 – 42 minutes – 39 points
April 20 – 40 minutes – 10 points
April 23 – 43 minutes – 16 points
April 25 – 45 minutes – 20 points
Not scoring numbers you want from someone you’re paying $34.9 million a year. Of course, had he taken the covid shot, the Nets would have had a better record and not had to play the Celtics in the first round.
If Kyrie Irving was going to struggle with playing multiple games on short rest despite taking more than half of the regular season off, what is going to happen to the PLL players coming directly from the NLL?
Remember, the NLL didn’t have a season last year. Those players arrived to training camp in Foxboro as fresh as perhaps they’ve ever been. Not coming off a full PLL season. Not a week or two after the end of the NLL playoffs.
Have you played in a club tournament? Have you coached in a club tournament? What expectations do you have for the team in the last game of the weekend? Maybe, it was really hot the day before. Maybe, one of the best players didn’t travel this weekend. Maybe, the refs aren’t giving you an calls. Maybe, there are more parents than college coaches on the sideline.
The PLL season is going to feel like that every weekend for a lot of these players.
Tired athletes could result in increased parity for the PLL. Perhaps, this is the year the Redwoods or Archers get over the hump.
Best case scenario for the PLL athletes still involved in the NLL playoffs is a sweep in conference finals and a sweep in the finals.
Noteworthy PLL athletes still competing by NLL team:
San Diego Seals: Mac O’Keefe, Wes Berg, Brodie Merril, Eli Gobrecht, Austin Staats
Colorado Mammoth: Zed Williams, Dillon Ward
Toronto Rock: Tom Schreiber, TD Ierlan, Latrell Harris
Buffalo Bandits: Tehoka Nanticoke, Chris Cloutier, Ian MacKay, Connor Fields, Max Adler, Josh Byrne, Dhane Smith, Chase Fraser
The Finals are set for June 3-5. As a reminder, just one game will be held that weekend. Should the finals require all three games, big time stars will be missing significant time.
Who plays for the Chaos if the Seals and Bandits go for three weekends? Unlike college football where every game matters, the Chaos will have some losses to play with assuming they don’t have their full compliment of players for the opening weekends.
In the Utah bubble, the Chaos admitted to playing a vanilla brand because they knew everyone made the playoffs. They might have to unleash the fury a little sooner this summer if they fall behind in the standings given that everybody but one team makes the post season.