Lopez, Brooklyn hope to hang with Cleveland
A major reinforcement appears to be on the way for the defending champion Cavaliers. In all likelihood, though, they’ll have to grind through at least one more contest with greatly diminished resources.
As general manager David Griffin reportedly finalizes a deal for Atlanta swingman Kyle Korver, Cleveland will visit Brooklyn tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives LeBron James & Co. odds of -1900 to improve to 27-8 overall. The Nets, on the other hand, represent +875 underdogs.
With both Kyrie Irving (hamstring) and Kevin Love (food poisoning) sidelined, the Cavs dropped a 106-94 decision to Chicago on Wednesday. James himself fought through flu symptoms to score a game-high 31 points. It was the first home setback for Tyronn Lue’s club since Dec. 1.
Depth should become less worrisome soon, though, provided Korver officially arrives in Northeast Ohio. Still regarded as one of the league’s premier gunners, the 35-year-old would assuredly help fill the void left by J.R. Smith’s (thumb surgery) absence. In 2015, Korver’s .492 success rate from beyond the arc even paved the way for an All-Star berth.
The Nets, at 8-26, find themselves in a much worse situation. With a sub-.200 mark over the past two or so months, coach Kenny Atkinson keeps trying to surround mainstay center Brook Lopez with sufficient complementary pieces. Nonetheless, current injuries to Jeremy Lin and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson certainly aren’t aiding the cause. Expect Brooklyn to endure further strife here.
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