- ‣ Strus and Niang greatly improve Cleveland’s spacing
- ‣ By adding more shooting, Cleveland is losing some defensive value
- ‣ Spacing (both creating it and taking it away) is the key to basketball
Spacing Means Everything In Team Sports
‣ Last season, the Cavaliers were 24th in 3-point attempts per game. Despite this, they had the ninth-best offense in the league based on offensive rating.
What Does This All Mean?
‣ With more space to operate, the paint is becoming less congested for Cleveland.
‣ Strus, specifically, is putting together a monster statistical footprint to start the season.
‣ By playing Strus and Niang and opting for more single big lineups, Cleveland is losing the twin tower dynamic that made them the best defense in basketball last year.
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Check out these two plays in the clip below. What sets them apart? They both resulted in a different outcome, but the underlying factor of both plays is a variable that could define the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ season. Spacing is the key to basketball, both in creating and taking it away.
The addition of Max Strus and Georges Niang has significantly improved Cleveland’s spacing and shooting ability. With their presence on the court, defenders are forced to think twice before leaving them unguarded. Both Strus and Niang are not just spot-up shooters, they have shown their versatility by creating plays and attacking closeouts.
Last season, the Cavaliers struggled to find success from the three-point range, prompting them to make a change in the offseason. The acquisition of Strus and Niang has added a new dimension to the Cavaliers’ offense, allowing them to create more space and increase scoring opportunities. Defensively, the Cavaliers are losing the strong twin tower dynamic they had last year, but the offensive gains may outweigh the defensive loss.
It’s still early in the season, but the addition of Strus and Niang has shown promise for the Cavaliers. With improved spacing, Cleveland’s offense is flourishing and the paint is less congested, resulting in higher shooting percentages for key players. Although the defensive tradeoff is a concern, the offensive impact of adding Strus and Niang could make the Cavaliers a dangerous team to face.