Kyle Korver says over reliance on LeBron James stagnates offense
Cleveland Cavaliers sharpshooter Kyle Korver spoke to reporters after Wednesday night’s 109-95 loss to the Sacramento Kings inside the Golden 1 Center. During the discussion, the former Creighton Blue Jay hinted that the Cavs might be relying on LeBron James a bit too much.
“You know, sometimes when we get stagnant is when we start depending on ‘Bron too much to create everything, and he can do it, but it’s hard every night for an 82-game season. To have someone else who can share that load of handling the ball and making plays for guys, I think that’ll help us out.”
Who is this player that will “share the load,” as Samwise Gamgee once said? A two-time All-Star point guard named Isaiah Thomas is the “help” Korver was referring to.
As most hoops fans know, Thomas, now 28 years of age, has been recovering from a hip injury he sustained in last season’s Eastern Conference Playoffs. While there is no set timetable for his return, it’s sounding more and more like the former Washington Huskies stand-out is close to making his Cavs debut. In fact, he’s participated in several team practices with no ill effects, including one session with the Canton Charge.
“(Thomas is) great off of dribble-handoff actions and pick and roll actions, so it’ll be another threat for us (to have) another ball handler, something else (the opponent has) to game plan for,” Korver continued. “Another playmaker, you know? He’s shown he can do it at a super high level, and on nights like tonight when it’s not really flowing for us, to have someone else who can obviously take over a game is always welcome.”
In his 76 games played for the Celtics last season, Thomas racked up the best statistical figures of his life, averaging a career-high 28.9 points on 46 percent shooting from the field (38 percent from beyond the arc), 5.9 assists, and 2.7 rebounds in 33.8 minutes per outing — all while knocking down 91 percent of his free-throws.
Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue was quick to rule Thomas out for Wednesday game in Sacramento. And when asked about his status for Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz, coach Lue simply said, “I don’t know.”
According to a report from Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, Thomas’ debut might come after Cleveland’s match-up with the Boston Celtics on Jan 3.
It sounds like the Cavs are a bit reluctant to bring Thomas back in a marquee game, which is certainly understandable.
“There was reluctance from both the Cavs and Thomas for his first game to be a marquee opponent like the Warriors, which was among the reasons he sat out the Christmas game,” Vardon writes. “The Celtics, with Kyrie Irving as the point guard, certainly count as a marquee opponent.”
The Cavs have dropped three of their last four games, but that doesn’t mean the sky is falling. They’re still 24-11 overall, No. 1 in the Central Division, and No. 3 in the Eastern Conference — just 2.5 games back from the first place Celtics. Let’s see how the dynamic changes when Thomas is brought into the fold.