]Thomas had the ball in his hand whenever he wanted the ball. That allowed him to control the offense, take the shots he wanted, pass when he wanted, etc. There is a reason Thomas' USG was significantly higher than Irving's.
Well, while IT's USG was high (34%) Irving's wasn't all that low either, at 30.8%. Irving actually took slightly more FGA per game (19.7 vs 19.4) than Thomas. And they took the identical FGA/100 possessions. Irving was the highest USG player in CLE and took the most FGA in CLE. It's not like he was really a distant second option.
Thomas touched (84.7) and passed (55.7) the ball only slightly more per game than Irving (79.0 & 52.2) did. People make a lot of how much the Cavs used Lebron to handle & facilitate their offense, but the Celtics similarly used Al Horford a lot in theirs.
Also, as for quality of shots, it's important to note that 23.8% of Kyrie's threes occurred with no defender within 6 feet (he hit them at a nice 41.2% clip) while only 13% of Isaiah's threes occurred with no defender within 6 feet (he hit them at a 52.3% clip!). In other words, a much bigger share of KI's shots were wide-open.
Thomas scored more points than Kyrie because he was more efficient at scoring. Despite getting far more attention from defenders. It's that simple.
Doubtful we'll see a similar season from Isaiah _or_ Kyrie anytime soon, though.
Thomas had more efficient plays called for him. Big difference having a real coach and system.
If he did, that particular graphic doesn't really demonstrate it. You need to look at frequency and point-per-play efficiency for each type.
For example, both Thomas and Irving both ran Pick & Roll more than any other play type and at about the same percentage
of their respective play profiles (about 34% for both). The differences in their play type usage were in ISO (which Kyrie ran more of) and spot ups and dribble-hand-offs (which IT ran more of). But those differences aren't really indicative of 'more efficient plays' for Isaiah.
Kyrie was very efficient at ISO plays, at 1.12 points per play (95th percentile). Isaiah actually was identically efficient at ISO, but ran less of it. Instead he ran a little bit more Spot-up, which was a more efficient play type (1.22 per play for IT) and a little bit more hand-off, which was less
efficient (1.06 points per play for IT). So when you look at the differences in their play-types, overall, there is no real advantage there for IT. And these play types amount to a smaller share of the total for each player.
It's when you look back at the play type that they both ran the most of, the bread and butter pick & roll handler play type, that's where the difference in their results came from. Because while they both ran it the same percentage of their play type profile, Thomas was far more efficient at it, generating 1.04 points per play versus 0.95 points per play for KI.
In other words, it it the difference in efficiency running the same
play type that added up to the bulk of the difference in what Thomas did last year and what Kyrie did last year.