Defending Champions Struggle

by JAKE GONZALEZ

Staff Writer

 

The 2016-2017 season has not gone as planned for the defending NBA Champions. Although the Cleveland Cavaliers are in first place in the Eastern Conference, they are only ahead of the second place Boston Celtics by 2.5 games. Missing a key defender and shooter in J.R. Smith, the Cavaliers hold a 36-16 record.

 

An addition that seems to be finally falling in place is the addition of veteran shooting guard Kyle Korver. Over the span of his previous five games, Korver is averaging 16.2 points per game and a field goal percentage of 63. Also during his last five games, he has had two twenty point games. One of these games included a twenty-nine point performance with eight made three pointers. His ability to attract defenders because of his ability to shoot the ball opens up driving lanes for players such as Kyrie Irving and LeBron James to drive to the hoop. Once these players drive to the hoop successfully, this forces defenders to over help off of Korver and give him open jump shots.

 

Social media has played a role in causing rumors to spread involving the Cavalier’s roster situation. King James has complained to the front office about wanting another playmaker and a backup point guard on the roster. Columnist Scott Polacek reported that LeBron James was okay with trading key player Kevin Love away in order to acquire small forward Carmelo Anthony. After LeBron heard about this report, he immediately shot down the report calling it “trash.”

 

Basketball critics and fans are heavily doubting the Cleveland Cavaliers’ chance of repeating as NBA Champions. With the Golden State Warriors having another impressive season, they are the clear favorite to win. Cleveland is hoping to play to their full potential to prove all doubters wrong, yet again, and repeat as champions.

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