OTG's Full-Court Press: Week 1
Marc Cantave and Kory Waldron debate the hottest topics around the NBA. This week we talk Korver’s impact on the Cavaliers, are the Houston Rockets contenders and if the Celtics will make a move this season. YOU the reader decide who wins this debate! Once you finish reading here, head to Twitter and cast your vote. We bring the debate and welcome you to join in.
Does the acquisition of Kyle Korver make the Cavs the favorites to win it all?
Marc Cantave: As of now, the Cleveland Cavaliers are 30-11 and have seemed to struggle since the acquisition of Kyle Korver. However, when he fully gets integrated into the system he will have a great impact. The Cavs have proved to be a valiant threat to the Golden State Warriors and now they added a sharpshooter of the highest caliber in Kyle Korver. So to answer the question; yes, the Cavs are now the favorites to win it all. Now people may think that Kyle Korver isn't much of an improvement, but he fits well with this current Cavalier team.
In his last five seasons, Korver has shot 41, 39, 49, 47, and 46 percent from the three point line. And a few years before that he shot a career high and NBA best 53.6 percent. He has never played with someone that attracts so much attention on offense like LeBron James. It's unimaginable the looks that Korver will get. Korver is a great shooter that can get the offense for the second unit going. With the Cavs biggest enemy being a predominantly three point shooting team, Korver closes the gap in that department and helps ease one of the Cavs main flaw. The Warriors are still a powerhouse, but the potential NBA Finals trilogy has just gotten more interesting.
Kory Waldron: To your point, Korver fits well with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s a spot up shooter who’s known for his consistent three point shot. However, WHY!? In all honesty, it’s one of those “Wow, they added that guy,” not “Wow, Cavs fixed their issues with this move.” In my opinion, it’s nothing special. They have Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, Richard Jefferson and DeAndre Liggins already. They just threw in another guy who may be the best three point shooter of the bunch. On the defensive end though, Korver doesn’t give you much; he’s on the back side of his career. This move to me is just a move; it doesn’t make the Cavs any better or worse.
Marc Cantave: You’re right from the standpoint that it doesn’t fix their other issues, but that can be addressed by the trade deadline. For what they essentially gave up to get Korver, it’s a great deal and it gives them more firepower. Let’s face it, the only team that stands in the way of the Cavs is the Warriors and they are loaded offensively. Yes, Korver is a defensive liability, but Cavs defense is pretty good. There offense is good as well, but sometimes gets stagnant, particularly when LeBron is on the bench. Korver gives the second unit much needed shooting, which can give them a chance to stay in games longer. Is this the greatest move? No. But does it make the Cavs better? Yes, and it leans them towards being the favorites to win it all.
Kory Waldron: I just don’t think it edges them over the Warriors, the second unit needs a playmaker. Like you said, that offense gets stagnant when LeBron is off the floor. This time around will be different against the Warriors, for me it’s still the Warriors as favorites. I can’t bet against that core of four and Korver for me doesn’t propel the Cavaliers to favorites. Until a playmaker is added to the second unit the Cavaliers with Kyle Korver, are still the underdogs.
Marc Cantave: If their previous loss to the Warriors was any indication, then you are right, but I still believe that Korver gives them some firepower and will be vital for them in the NBA Finals.
Are the Houston Rockets contenders?
Kory Waldron: The Rockets are 33-13 to this point, they’ve split games with the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors. In their first game against the Golden State Warriors the Rockets won in double OT thriller, my favorite game this season. When they met on Friday, January 20th, the Warriors continued their strong run for the win. The Rockets had a poor night shooting as they only hit seven threes. We know the Warriors and Rockets rely heavily on the three ball. Rockets had a poor night from deep, the Warriors had a good night. This team Rockets team is for real, James Harden is for real, they’re the biggest threat to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference.
Marc Cantave: I have been having this discussion with folks on Twitter since about November and I was determined that the Rockets aren’t contenders. I was determined that Harden was putting up numbers, but the team wouldn’t do much in the playoffs because of D’Antoni’s system. Well it’s January now and I feel the need to apologize because the Rockets are contenders and playing some of the best basketball I’ve seen from them. You can give Harden the MVP at this point because it’s all but his. The Rockets are playing well offensively and are not as bad on defense as I thought they would be. With that being said, the Spurs and the Warriors could still beat them. However, depending on seeding (if they get the number two seed), Harden and the Rockets could make the Western Conference Finals again.
Kory Waldron: We agree on this one. The Rockets offense is no joke they average 114.9 points per game which is second in the league to only the Golden State Warriors who average 117.5 points per game. They shoot an insane 40 three-pointers a game and make 37 percent of them. They are top 10 in rebounds and are second in team assists, not to mention they have the third best +/- at 7.3. Watch out of the Rockets as long as James Harden continues this MVP tear and Eric Gordon stays healthy.
Will the Celtics make a move this season?
Kory Waldron: I’ve been on the fence about them disrupting this current roster, but it’s got to and going to happen. The Celtics need another guy if not the guy on this roster. Whether somehow they acquire DeMarcus Cousins or they surprise us with a trade for Jimmy Butler or maybe Gordon Hayward, or even Blake Griffin, they will make a trade this season.
Marc Cantave: If they can make a blockbuster trade for one of those guys you mentioned sure (particularly Blake), but if not it’s best to leave it alone. The Celtics have a real good shot to get the second seed this year and they have been playing some good basketball. Isaiah Thomas is a top 5 MVP candidate right now and you wouldn’t want to make a trade or move that can impact the chemistry. The Celtics are playing great and Isaiah Thomas is looking stronger with each passing game. They do not need to make a move this season. If they want to make a move, it should be after the postseason.
Kory Waldron: You surely don’t make a trade to make a trade. Thomas and Horford to this point are untouchable, Thomas is a stud and has become the heart and soul of this Celtics team. With the numerous assets the Celtics have, I wouldn’t hesitate if a trade pops up that can get them another star in Boston. This Celtics team sits at the third or second seed in the East. Yet, they still are miles away from the Cavaliers and Warriors for the fact they don’t have another solid scoring threat. Danny Ainge knows this and with all these teams on the bubble they’ll find a deal.
With the pieces that the Boston Celtics have, I don’t think they can facilitate a trade that would put them on the level of the Cavs or even the Raptors. They have great role players and for them to get to that level they need to sign a free agent in the offseason, but as for this season, I doubt they make a move.
Kory Waldron: You don’t think they have the pieces to make a trade that puts them ahead of even the Raptors? That’s bonkers, the Celtics could go out and trade for Andrew Bogut for a few draft picks, and still have the assets to trade for a Gordon Hayward. If the Celtics make a move, whatever the move might be, if the guy can rebound and or score, it’ll put them ahead of the Raptors in the East.
Marc Cantave: If the Celtics can get Gordon Hayward, then they’ll be better, but I do not believe they are there yet.