J.R. Smith’s current right thumb injury has caused much uncertainty and taken one of the starting five out of this season’s lineup for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to si.com, on January 5, 2017 the Atlanta Hawks were finalizing a deal to send shooting guard Kyle Korver to the Cavaliers. This would be a quality pickup for the Cavaliers with Korver stepping into the missing spot of Smith for the time being.
According to cleveland.com, the Cavaliers have not been greatly effected by Smith’s absence with a record of 7-2 without him. Smith is only shooting 36.2 percent from behind the arc disappointing many fans who were expecting him to be shooting better than eight other Cavalier players this season.
“Korver is a great pickup because he is a sniper from 3 point range and he’s a 51 percent shooter from the corners. This will distribute the scoring across the floor and give the Cavaliers options in game planning,” junior Jacob Feldman said.
Korver, who has been one of the leading three point scorers for the Hawks hopefully will fit into the Cavaliers lineup smoothly because of the amount of three point shots a game the team takes. According to stats.nba.com the Cavaliers average 33 threepoint attempts in a game. They are also averaging close to 85 shot attempts total, making close to 39 percent of their shots three pointers.
Korver is also ranked the twenty fourth best three point shooter on ESPN’s top three point shooting players of the season. He is shooting 40.9 percent from behind the arc which is over 4 percent better than Smith.
Korver also will be vital to the Cavaliers during the playoffs as he has been in the NBA for 14 seasons and has made the playoffs 10 times. Korver will bring experience and a possible spark that the Cavaliers might need in order to win back to back championships.
“He will be a key role player off the bench, providing explosive scoring when our starters are resting,” Feldman said. “This will give Cleveland the ability to score more consistently, allowing rest for key players even in big games. It is a solid move for Cleveland, looking to defend their NBA champion throne this season.”
The Cavaliers pickup of Korver may have some uncertainty about his effect on the team, but fans like Feldman hope he will become a valuable asset for the rest of the season, during playoffs and ultimately during another NBA Championship.