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prensaestatal.com Febrero 19, 2018


Basketball: Cleveland Cavaliers off to fresh start

12 Febrero 2018, 02:17 | Gerardo Tarin

The Cavaliers won the trade deadline, and have emerged as a legit NBA finals contender again

The Cavaliers won the trade deadline and have emerged as a legit NBA finals contender again

According to oddsmakers at YouWager, the Cavs are the slight favorite on the road, as Cleveland is getting odds of -1.5 points against the Hawks.

They were also part of a three-team trade with the Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings to acquire Rodney Hood and George Hill while trading away Iman Shumpert, Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, and a 2020 second-round pick in return. The over/under total for the game is listed at 214.5 points.

The trades should address that issue. They now surrender the third most points and have the fifth worst rebound differential in the league.

Hill has chance to be an even better version of Mario Chalmers, bringing solid spot-up shooting and length at the point guard spot. An empty arena provides the flawless environment for the players on the court to hear everything a fan might want to say to them. The other, 31-year-old George Hill, is a decent upgrade over Thomas at point guard, and has the potential to be a much more significant step up, should Hill start to care about defense again. He allowed 0.9 points per possession for the Kings this season, putting him in the top 25 percent of the National Basketball Association, nearly completely locking down the ballhandler on the pick-and-roll (0.7 PPP, sixth-best among guards defending at least 100 possessions in 2017-18). The Cavs will keep the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick, which they earned in a trade with the Boston Celtics.

James shined in all three games against the Hawks, the last of which was December 12, averaging 25 points, 14 assists and six rebounds. They are just 7-13 since Christmas and only have a four-game cushion from being completely out of the playoff picture. Kevin Love is already out with a finger injury. The 30 points were a season-high, besting the previous mark of 23 points. Rookie guard Tyler Dorsey scored 14 points to lead all Hawks bench players while Isaiah Taylor added 11 points.

He missed half a season, and when he did play, he only made a dismal 36 percent of his shots and was critical of his teammates. In many ways, he's the opposite of Ball at that position: a ball-dominant volume scorer whose lack of size leaves him vulnerable on the defensive end. "And word to everybody, don't go 0 for 6 or they're going to trade you're (expletive)".

Next year, however, he might also be gone.

It certainly appears the Cavaliers addressed their biggest concern.

"The fact that he chose to come off the bench in Cleveland has minimized and also limited his opportunities to do certain things that he has always been capable of doing, so I would imagine he would morph right back into the role of being a scorer, a front-line scorer for us, a crunch-time scorer for us, a defender on the ball in niche situations", Riley said.



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