With only two months left before the trade deadline, the newest has been the addition of Kyle Korver to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Mike Dunleavy, Mo Williams and a future first round pick. The Cavs seemed to have found the final piece to put the nail in the coffin and decided to upgrade their three point shooting percentage with the addition of one of the finest shooters in Kyle Korver. Although LeBron has been openly saying that they require a backup point guard, Korver certainly in an upgrade to their roster.
How does he fit into the Cavs roster?
Mike Dunleavy was picked up from Chicago for the sole purpose of shooting threes and stretching the floor with very limited number of minutes. Korver, at the age of 36, in the final stages of his career has definitely the best option of earning a championship ring for himself. He is a 42.9% career 3-point shooter and also holds an NBA record for the highest three-point field goal percentage in a season with 53.6% (while in Utah in the year 2009-2010). This gives us enough evidence of the man’s potential to shoot the ball. With the Cavs already being a great three point shooting team, the addition of such an elite shooter only improves their percentage.
The Cavs use their 3-point shooting at its best when LeBron has the ball at the elbow for the pass. Korver can set off-ball screens and step out for decent looks. Also when LeBron catches the ball down low, it usually attracts double teams, this spaces the floor and allows shooters to take position and create multiple show options for his team. You can certainly depend on LeBron on finding the open man. They also use Love in low-post situations with mismatches attracting help-defenders. Love is also good in finding the open man at the three point line and the Cavs do a great job of rotating the ball until they find the best shot. The LeBron pick-and-roll play is also dangerous as he cuts to the basket or gives a bounce pass to the screener to find the open man in both the occasions. Kyle Korver’s great ability to shoot the three coming of screen and jumping towards his right (a difficult shot for a right hander) or left can be used in multiple off-ball screens for that shot. With Korver in one of these situations and many others, you can easily expect him to complete most of those threes. It will be easier for him to get good looks when playing alongside such great offensive players and won’t have to work hard to create his shot. He can go back to being a catch and shoot guy.
Furthermore playing on restricted minutes and not having the burden of defending the best guard on the other side, Korver’s role would be to come off the bench, and making those crucial three pointers to keep the team in the game or to take the game away from the opposition.
What problems can we anticipate?
Although Kyle Korver is 6’7” with a decent wingspan, he is a liability on the defensive end of the floor especially when his shots aren’t falling. The game being a guard’s game now-a-days and with the number of great NBA guards that are present in the league, teams would be looking to exploit him on the defensive end.
Although Korver shoots well than Shumpert and J.R, the latter are better options against great offensive teams because of their ability to both, defend and shoot threes. Although Tyron Lue is an intelligent coach, he will have to find lineups where his team doesn’t give up too much on the defensive end to boost their offense.
Also, when J.R. Smith returns to the lineup after his surgery, there are too many three point shooters out there and fewer players who can take the ball to the rack and finish. Korver will have to find out his exact role in this team.
Who is the super team?
The designation of ‘Super Team’ or ‘Super Villains’ has been given to the Golden State Warriors with the addition of Kevin Durant to an already loaded line up. There is no denying the fact that Warriors have four All-Stars in their starting lineup are indeed a super team, but aren’t the Cavs also a Super Team?
You have LeBron James (currently the best player in NBA),
Kyrie Irving (an elite point guard, with one of the best handles in basketball right now, who can shoot pretty well and can take the ball to the rack and finish with both hands),
Kevin Love (a power forward who can shoot 3’s as well as dominate on the boards and is having the best season of his career),
Triston Thompson (a great offensive rebounder and rim protector),
J.R. Smith (great three point shooter and a good defender),
Iman Shumpert, Channing Fry and Richard Jefferson, all of them can shoot well from downtown,
Deandre Liggins (who in the absence of J.R. Smith has proved himself to be a great substitute and a great defender)
and now when you add Kyle Korver to this roster, aren’t they also a super team in the NBA?
Everybody is expecting a 3rd straight final between the Cavs and the Warriors. Many have even said that “if LeBron beats this Warriors team, he could become the greatest ever”. Given their roster, there would be no surprise if they beat the Warriors in a 7-game series. If they are able to accomplish that, then all the credit would be given to the ‘King LeBron James’. It’s not like he is playing with a bunch of role players in his team, and it’s an impossible task to beat Golden State. We should not be lost on the fact that the Cavs also have 3 big all stars in their team.
There are certainly a minimum two super teams in the NBA right now and they are heading for a collision course. It’s going to be a great final, if it takes place, and both the teams have an equal opportunity to defeat each other in a seven game series.