Korver still adjusting as Cavs host Thunder
CLEVELAND -- Kyle Korver surpassed 10,000 career points during the Cleveland Cavaliers' 124-116 win Friday against the Brooklyn Nets. It has been one of his few moments to celebrate since getting traded to Cleveland earlier this month.
Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue acknowledged Korver's transition into the Cavs' system has been tougher than he anticipated.
As the Cavaliers prepare to host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, Korver is averaging 8.8 points and shooting 44 percent from 3-point range through his first nine games with his new team.
He is used to doing things that aren't naturally part of the Cavs' system, so Lue has spent the little practice time the Cavs have trying to get him acclimated to them and them to him.
"It's not going to be just overnight," LeBron James said. "That's the problem. Everyone wants instant oatmeal. You got to cook it, got to let it simmer and then figure it out from there. We got time."
Since James returned to Cleveland, the Cavs have been a drive-and-kick offense predicated on James and Kyrie Irving getting into the lane and then making the decision whether to attack the basket or kick out to shooters. That means the shooters are often stationed around the perimeter, either in the corners or on the wings with very little movement.
Korver spent 3 1/2 seasons in a motion-based offense in Atlanta. And that's where the problems come in.
"I thought it would be an adjustment," Korver said. "It depends on what role I guess you want me to play."
The Cavs want Korver to do what he's comfortable doing, but that means an adjustment for everyone and calling more sets that demand more movement.
"It's been tricky," Lue said. "But it's my job to work on it and figure it out, so that's what I've been doing. We'll figure it out."
The Thunder enter riding a three-game winning streak and following two days off. It will be their first game without key reserve Enes Kanter, the backup center who was having his best season. Kanter could miss two months after breaking his forearm when he punched a chair in frustration during Thursday's win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Replacing Kanter won't be easy. Only three players who have come off the bench at least 20 games this season average more than the 14.4 points Kanter was giving the Thunder.
"Enes was great," Thunder guard Cameron Payne told the Oklahoman. "What he does in the post, he opens up the floor for everyone."
More of the responsibility will fall on Russell Westbrook, whose 23 triple-doubles this season are almost halfway to James' career total of 47. Westbrook is one of three players with at least 20 triple-doubles in a season as he continues his quest to averaging a triple-double.
"I know I'm a little biased because he's my guy," said Cavs All-Star Kevin Love, Westbrook's former teammate at UCLA, "But he's been almost unprecedented this year and done a great job."
Added James: "He's phenomenal. What else can you say about the guy? He's a rare talent and a special player."