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Kyrie Irving.

Why the Cavaliers are now the NBA's best three-point shooting team

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The reigning champions Cleveland Cavaliers improved to 8-1 with their recent win over the Charlotte Hornets and broke an NBA record in the process.

The Cavs hit 14 three-pointers in the 100-93 win over Charlotte, becoming the first team in history to hit 10 or more threes in the opening nine games of the regular season. 

Their barrage from downtown has continued from last year's playoffs where they set a single game record of 25 triples against the Atlanta Hawks in the conference semi-finals.

Cleveland is currently averaging 13.22 made threes per game and that puts them on pace to beat the Golden State Warriors’ record-setting average of 13.13 from the last campaign.

Are the Cavaliers becoming the best three-point shooting team in the league?

Collection

In Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors have the best shooters in the NBA and arguably of all time, but collectively the Cavs possess a better ensemble of sharpshooters. 

The addition of Kevin Durant has made Golden State an even more potent three-point threat, but so far it's the team from Ohio that's dominating from downtown. 

Cleveland Cavaliers v Washington Wizards

Tristan Thompson and Chris Anderson aside, the Wine and Gold have players who can hit the three-ball throughout the roster. 

In most cases, Tyronn Lue can count on four of the five players on the floor at all times to make a shot from deep and there aren't many teams who have that luxury. 

The young head coach knows the role that this plays for his team and has warned that they are capable of getting better. 

“We have a lot of great shooters,” Lue said. “I think we can even make more shots. I think we’re missing a lot of open shots that we normally make. It’s going to come once the season gets going. I think our shots will come along a lot better.”

Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors - Game Four

On Sunday it was Channing Frye who had the hot hand as he drained six from beyond the arc, but on any given night the likes of J.R. Smith, Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love can get hot from range. 

But when multiple players are making shots in the same game, that's when the Cavaliers are at their devastating best.  

Effect

As Charles Barkley once said, jump shooting teams can't win championships. Golden State proved that theory wrong in 2015 and to a large extent, the Cavs did the same last year. 

Though they don't want to be labelled as such, Cleveland is fast becoming a jump shooting team. 

Cleveland Cavaliers v Washington Wizards

Of course, LeBron James and Irving are two of the best players driving into the lane and finishing around the rim, but as a team, they have now become so reliant on their ability to score from deep.

To reference Barkley once again, you live and die by the three-point shot. The Cavs have fallen in love with it and it's no surprise with the efficiency with which they drain them. 

But in their only defeat of this season so far against the Hawks, the champs were 11-of-42 from downtown which shows that when they're not falling, they can be susceptible.

However, spreading the floor with three-point weapons is what makes a LeBron-led team so dangerous. As the league's best player, he undoubtedly attracts the attention of more than one defender and is often double-teamed, allowing him to use his incredible passing skills to find open men on the perimeter. 

Cleveland Cavaliers v Washington Wizards

General manager David Griffin and the front office deserve credit for building the perfect team to utilise the skill set of the King.

“I pretty much know what personnel works for my type of basketball game,” James said. “So I knew what we needed. I know it works for me. And I think our GM and our coaching staff have done a great job of fulfilling that.”

The Warriors have become synonymous with the three-point shot, but it may be time to recognise the Cavs as the best in the league and potentially the most potent in NBA history.

Topics:
NBA
Kyrie Irving
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
LeBron James

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