The Atlanta Hawks have decided to (somewhat) pull the trigger on their roster.
While at a respectable 20-16 record on the season and fourth in the Eastern Conference, it’s assumed that Hawks’ management was dissatisfied with where thier roster was headed.
For a quick assessment, they weren’t a “high-scoring team” such as Toronto, nor did they have two or more All-Stars to consistently go to, a la Boston. More importanty, they didn’t have a combination of both, which makes the Cleveland Cavaliers — a championship contender.
Within the last two seasons of losing much of their important players (Horford, Carroll, Teague), the 2014-15 season (60-22, first in the Eastern Conference) may appear as something that’ll never be achieved. At least for a distant while perhaps.
On Thursday evening Hawks’ lethal sharpshooter and twelve-year NBA veteran Kyle Korver, was traded to the Cavaliers, as he’s set to dress up for another top-tier Eastern Conference franchise. Cleveland sent Mike Dunleavy, and a 2019 first-round pick to Atlanta. And for what it means for Korver — will be an endless amount of possibilities.
I discovered a few ways of how Korver can make an immediate impact on this Cleveland roster, as he’s expected to start right-away in J.R. Smith’s (thumb) absence, who won’t be back until preferably March.
WHAT WE DO KNOW.
Kyle Korver has obtained an average of 42% shooting from long-distance and 47% on corner threes throughout his career. So what do we know? We know right away that he’s going to fit-in with this Cavaliers offense — which to many, is already fully-loaded as ever.
Cleveland normally runs a variety of pin-down offense which has worked successfully for their wing players. You can ask J.R Smith and even Kyrie Irving, when he plays off the ball. The verity of truth is that Korver will break-free to get open, and he’s made a successful career of doing it.
Plenty of the Cavaliers’ half-court sets for pinching their shooters open, are ran from “Hawk” plays. Let’s say Korver starts at the two, and Cleveland has their big-man tandem of Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson. I can only imagine how many wide-open looks a catch-and-shoot player like Korver, could get from multiple double-screens. With the superstar prowesses of Cleveland’s big-three, Irving, Love, and Lebron James are already every opposing team’s strongest points of emphasis. To add insult to injury, Korver makes an outstanding fourth option.
So whether he starts or comes off the bench, just expect him to be a large component of Cleveland’s offense. Because, yeah. That’s why they’re bringing him there.
Offensively, this move makes the Cavaliers an even more imposing team to watch due to the Korver trade. However, I never gave him as much credit for his efforts on the other end as he deserves. He’s improved as a defender — even at such a late stage of the 35 year-old’s career.
Korver is holding matchups to 36% field-goals on shots any further than 15 feet in the 2016-17 season, and 43% overall. These percentages have been his lowest in the last four seasons.
To leave it short, Kyle has shown signs of regression since the 2014-15 season, where he had one of the best three-point shooting seasons that we’ll probably ever see in the NBA. But with a new situation in Cleveland, his contribution to their chances of repeating will be larger than one could imagine.
As it’s been reported, Cleveland still has some unfinished business in the rumor mill, as they’re looking to make more moves, in an effort to capture another world title.
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