It’s like Christmas! Except in this instance, Christmas means that a really good shooter named Kyle Korver should be suiting up for the Cleveland Cavaliers, which isn’t as sexy, but it’s still really cool anyway. To my knowledge, Korver hasn’t gotten to practice with the team yet as they received the day off, but Korver has already made an appearance on the Cavaliers roster’s savvy social media presence.
Channing Frye introduces Kyle Korver to Snapchat. The amount of 3-pointers made between those two...sheesh pic.twitter.com/Tsps3ycAS3— Cavs Nation TV (@CavsNationTV) January 10, 2017
Anyway, onto the action.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Utah Jazz
When: 9:00 p.m. EST
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena (yikes, that’s a lame arena name. Do they call it “The V?” I sure hope so.)
TV: Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass
Enemy Blog: SLC DUNK
Music: Wide Open Spaces - The Dixie Chicks
What to Watch
- Well, Kyle Korver’s presence along with Channing Frye, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and eventually JR Smith will almost certainly create wide open spaces for LeBron to rumble towards the rim. Eh? Eh? I’m trying to justify picking a country song that I don’t really like to make this joke. Back off.
- I think tempered expectations for Korver in his debut and for this game overall are in order. The Jazz are an insanely defensively talented team and they all have length for days. Also, George Hill gives Kyrie Irving hell on the defensive end. I don’t think Kyrie was sad to see Hill go West.
- Vegas agrees that this will be a tight game. The Cavaliers are only favored by two points as of writing this, and I don’t think that’s particularly far off. The Cavs haven’t played their best basketball as of late, giving the Nets and Suns too much life. We’ll see if they put on a clinic against the Jazz, because if they aren’t at 100%, this will be a slog.
- I’m not saying they’re nearly as good, but this Jazz team feels like its own iteration of the Pistons team that upset the Lakers in 2004. They’ve got 6-7 players who are similarly talented, can create their own shot, move the ball, and most importantly, defend. A starting lineup featuring George Hill, Rodney Hood, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert doesn’t inherently offer a lot of mismatches.
- Quin Snyder has done a nice job with this team, but it does still feel like they’re missing...something before they can go truly compete with the West’s elite. I’m not sure how they’ll find that something, but I think the 4-seed is their absolute ceiling until that happens.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
I think the Cavaliers might actually drop this one. They’re playing in elevation, they’re playing a talented team that’s really going to get up to play them, and they’ll be integrating a new piece. They absolutely can and maybe should win, but that’s the NBA season for you. Sometimes you have weird nights. Jazz 99, Cavaliers 96.