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Roundtable: Cavs’ best three-point shooter, Kevin Love’s best role and more

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Also: Who can the Cavs steal scheme from?

New Orleans Pelicans v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

Drop your answers below! Next week, for versatility week, we’ll take the best reader-submitted question. Drop yours below if you want it considered!

Is there a team or system you’d like to see the Cavs take from to improve their three-point shooting?

Chris Manning (@cwmwrites): The 2017-18 and 2018-19 Nets are a team and style I think sort of fits what the Cavs have right now. Like those Nets teams, coached by Kenny Atkinson, there was no one dominant guy. To make up for that, they relied on scheme to help generate open looks. In ‘17-18, they were first in three-point rate and fifth the next year. Sets like this would help a lot. Simple reads, spaced out floor, lots of screening and cutting:

Evan Dammarell (@AmNotEvan): In a perfect world the Cavs would have hired Atkinson as their next head coach over signing J.B. Bickerstaff to an extension. So, I agree with what Chris shared about how the Cavs should adopt some of Atkinson’s philosophies going forward. The Cavs don’t have “the guy” yet on their roster to command a lion’s share of minutes and touches so they need to go about scoring from the perimeter by committee.

Jackson (@Akron_Jackson): Koby Altman has emphasized three-point shooting during his time in Cleveland with the exception of the bizarre Dwayne Wade and Derrick Rose signings at the beginning of his tenure. His trades at the 2018 deadline were done to add shooting, his 2019 draft class was almost entirely based on shooting, and the coaching staff he assembled this season all emphasized shooting. As odd as it is to say, I kind of trust the Cavs in valuing and teaching this skill.

How confident are you that Larry Nance Jr.’s three-point shooting is real?

CM: I’m 99% sure it’s real. I think the biggest thing for Nance is that he needs to increase his shooting volume just a bit and become less unselfish. There were still times last year where he passes up open shots defenses give him to pass the ball off. Unselfish play is often very good, and the Cavs need guys who like passing, but he stands to shoot a little more.

ED: Very confident after doubting it for a while now. Larry shared a while back that he knew the game was changing for fours like him and he was making it part of his game going forward. After rolling my eyes, he’s done nothing but prove me wrong. Larry has rounded out his game as a jack of all trades, master of none and has been a delight for the Cavs.

JF: I’m not as confident as Chris and Evan. It’s a skill he certainly needs to develop further. While he shot a solid 35.2% from deep, teams were still daring him to shoot from there as the volume was pretty low. According to stats.nba.com, 2.1 of his 2.8 attempts per game were classified as wide open meaning the nearest defender was over six feet away at the time of the shot. That number needs to increase until teams begin to respect him as a shooter. I’ll believe he’s actually a shooter when defenses do as well.

True or false: Kevin Love’s best utility now is as a floor spacer?

CM: True! He takes around 12% more three-pointers now vs. when he was with the Timberwolves. That was true with LeBron James and post, so I think it’s just what he is now. If the Cavs/Love wanted to see him go back to a version of his older stuff, I think he’d have to play more minutes at the five, or at least play with Larry Nance Jr. more than we’ve seen. Last year, per Cleaning The Glass, they were on the floor together 16.7% of the time.

ED: True-ish. I think Kevin would compliment a contending team beautifully as both a floor spacer and a perimeter decoy/threat. But, on the Cavs, he cannot be properly utilized unless Collin Sexton and maybe Andre Drummond keep defenses honest. So, we’re going to see a lot of Kevin getting smothered like my Waffle House hashbrowns next season and in turn, won’t see his utility as a floor spacer.

JF: True. Floor spacing has been Love’s best ability since arriving in Cleveland. Love attempted a career high 7 threes a game while also attempting a career low 3.9 free throws a game. Last season Love also attempted 22.7% of his shots between 10 feet and the inside the three-point line which is his highest from that area since being traded to Cleveland. Furthermore, only 24.9% of his shots came inside 10 feet of the basket which is his lowest percentage since arriving in Cleveland. This is a long way of saying Love isn’t posting up, drawing fouls, and attacking the paint like he used to. His scoring value is primarily as a shooter.

Finish the sentence: the best three-point shooter on the Cavs in 2020-21 is….

CM: A tie between Love Collin Sexton. For next season, Sexton’s probably going to be the team’s leader in volume and has the best pull-up ability of anyone on the roster. Maybe he doesn’t finish with the highest percentage on the team — Love, Dylan Windler and Darius Garland all could be that guy — but Sexton is perhaps the most versatile three-point shooter. Love just has a longer history of being very good.

ED: Collin Sexton. Until I see Dylan Windler play consistent minutes for this team I’m going to go with the guy who has surpassed all my expectations as a shooter and then some. Kevin Love is also a presence, sure but we don’t know how much longer he is for Cleveland. So, I’ll go with the Young Bull.

JF: Kevin Love. Sometimes the correct answer is the boring answer. Love shot 37.4% from deep on 7 attempts per game. This netted him a 59.9 true shooting percentage which was the second-best of his career. Love’s shooting ability is probably underrated at this point in his career. There’s no reason to believe that his numbers will drop significantly next season.