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Kyle Korver doesn’t know what’s going on. What he does know, however, is that’s he’s willing to do whatever is necessary to help the Cleveland Cavaliers win.
Thrust into the starting lineup for the first time this season and for only the second time since coming to Cleveland against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night as a replacement for the inconsistent, enigmatic J.R. Smith, the 36-year-old Korver responded with 22 points, making 6-of-7 shots, including 5-of-6 from deep, in 23 minutes.
— NBA (@NBA) March 14, 2018
Before the game, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said Korver was starting against the Suns, but Rodney Hood would assume the position as soon as his strained lower back allows.
— NBA Fantasy (@NBAFantasy) March 14, 2018
However, after watching Korver, who is shooting 44.0 percent from deep this season, light it up against the anemic Suns, Lue admitted he might have to rethink his stance on Hood supplanting Korver as the starter when he becomes available.
“Yeah it does,” Lue said. “He played well but when Rodney comes back, he’s going to have a minute restriction, anyway. So we just kinda gotta see what’s best for him. Just talking to (team trainer) Steve (Spiro), we haven’t quite figured it out yet.”
When it comes to figuring it out, Korver said he hasn’t, either.
“I have no idea what’s going on,” Korver said. “I don’t know if this is a one-game thing. I really have no idea. I told Ty I’m ready to do whatever he needs, just tell me before the game starts. So tonight, I think with Rodney still out, just trying a couple new things but I’m not making much of it.”
LeBron James, who posted his career-high 14th triple-double of the season with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists (along with 3 steals and 2 blocked shots) against Phoenix, the 69th of his career, said Korver provides a vital weapon for Cleveland.
“We always work well together since the time he got here,” he said.
Kyle Korver is shooting 46.8% from 3 when sharing the court with LeBron this season, and 45.2% off his passes directly.
Both figures would lead the NBA.
— Greg Swartz (@CavsGregBR) March 14, 2018
“If he’s on the floor, we have to find him,” James continued. “He works well without the ball, with his body movement. A lot of teams kind of mess up the coverage when they try to track him.”
As for Hood, he left the loss to the Clippers last Friday after one quarter and did not return because of the back strain. He sat out the defeat against the Lakers on Sunday night and the win at Phoenix on Tuesday night.
With Lue saying Hood will be on a minute restriction, Lue could opt to start him or bring him off the bench. Hood has started three of the 11 games he has played as a Cavalier.