Cleveland Cavaliers

Kyle Korver gives reason for Cavaliers’ struggles

The Cleveland Cavaliers are not a great team right now.

Despite being three-time Eastern Conference champions over the past three seasons, the Cavaliers are one inconsistent bunch. They enter Monday’s game versus the New York Knicks at 6-7 with the league’s worst defense. In fact, their defensive rating indicates that the 2017-18 Cavs are one of the worst in history.

With that said, there’s a sense of optimism and lack of urgency because of the Cavs’ recent history. In fact, it’s hard for many to believe that Cleveland could miss the NBA Finals even with all of their flaws due to the fact that they have LeBron James. James has played in the past seven NBA Finals, which leads many to believe he will play in his eighth consecutive in 2018

Kyle Korver, who has been a member of the Cavs since midway through the 2016-17 season, attributed Cleveland’s slow struggles due to James’ injury in the preseason and the turnover of the roster during the offseason, via Marc Stein of the New York Times:

Korver does have a point. Cleveland not only had a major roster overhaul, they’ve shuffled their lineup numerous times in the first weeks due to injuries and lack of chemistry. Iman Shumpert, Derrick Rose and Tristan Thompson have struggled with injuries early on in the season while the Cavaliers moved Dwyane Wade to the bench when he struggled in the starting lineup to open the season.

Helping Korver’s argument is the absence of Isaiah Thomas, who isn’t expected to make his team debut until January. Thomas averaged nearly 30 points per game last season and was the key player acquired in the trade which sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.

It’s only 13 games through the season, so the Cavaliers still have plenty of time to improve and develop chemistry with one another. However, the defense remains an issue, most notably on the perimeter where Cleveland continues to give up a bevy of three-pointers.

If the Cavaliers can fix that flaw, we probably will see Cleveland back in the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive year.

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