Richard Jefferson Attests To How Channing Frye Lifted The Team’s Chemistry
When Cavs GM David Griffin deemed it necessary to part ways with Anderson Varejao, essentially landing the team sharpshooter Channing Frye, the move was met with backlash especially from some Cleveland lifers. Varejao was an amazing locker room guy and, while LeBron James was the undisputed leader of the team, he was treated by others as the Cavaliers’ heart and soul.
Frye’s stint with the Cavs started quietly as he gradually immersed himself in coach Tyronn Lue’s scheme of things and also in the team culture. In 26 regular season games, Frye averaged 7.5 points and 3.6 rebounds on 37% shooting from long distance. These are quiet numbers for him, but perhaps the biggest impact that he made early on within this team was injecting the chemistry with his positive presence.
In an interview, fellow veteran Richard Jefferson was quoted as he sang praises for the team’s gentle giant with the stroke of an assassin.
— Hayden Grove (@H_Grove) May 30, 2016
One can see Frye’s infectious personality through videos of the players enjoying his company. But David Griffin did not plan for Frye to become an ambassador of goodwill among his peers. He knew that come playoff time, Frye’s true value will be featured. He was on point.
His presence, being the other stretch big man outside of Kevin Love, has allowed LeBron James and Kyrie Irving to have enough driving space even when Love is on the bench. His playoff percentage from beyond the arc is at a crazy 57% clip. In fact, a recent tweet by ESPN’s Dave McMenamin provides further proof on Frye’s importance to this team.
Crazy stat of the day: Channing Frye (23.96) has a higher PER in the playoffs than K.Thompson (21.7), K. Love (20.6) & K. Durant (20.25)
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 30, 2016
As of this writing, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors still have to play Game 7 of their series for the rights to face Cleveland in the finals. Channing Frye was in Orlando when the Cavs played their regular season series against both Western Conference finalists.
How he affects the team’s dynamics when facing either of these two teams is still yet to be seen, but the prospect is looking very good.