The Cleveland Cavaliers are not taking nearly enough three-pointers and it is causing problems in the win-loss department.
If it was not already apparent it became clear as day Wednesday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers have a three-point problem. In their 121-99 loss to the Clippers, Cleveland only attempted 10 shots from deep and made 4. Meanwhile Los Angeles went 20-34 and completely obliterated the Cavs defense. Not only was Cleveland’s lack of three-point attempts disheartening to see, it is alarming that how much better Los Angeles is from deep.
The Cavaliers attempt (26.1) and make (9.3) the fewest three-pointers per game. When perusing the other teams at the bottom there is a common trait among most of those teams, they aren’t good. Outside of the Lakers and 76ers, most of these teams are middle of the road on a good day. Cleveland’s three-point percentage as a team is not bad, they convert 35.7% of their attempts from deep which is tied for 19th with Detroit in that area. Again, not great, but not terrible either. Although it is worth mentioning that the teams immediately above and below the Cavs attempt and make more three-pointers per game.
The Cavs have options, they just need to take them
Looking at Cleveland’s individual players and their respective performances from deep they have a few options that should be called upon for a few more per game. Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, and Taurean Prince all convert above 40% from three. Larry Nance Jr. and Dylan Winder both make around 38% shots from deep and Cedi Osman’s 37% isn’t completely terrible. The fact that Osman attempts the most threes per game (6.3) is a massive problem. Sexton leads the Cavs in 3PT% yet attempts 3.7 per game. Garland and Prince attempt the same amount of threes (4.1), registering second and third respectively for Cleveland.
While there is somewhat of a focus on playing with big men for Cleveland, they need their best shooters to take more threes. Cleveland currently has zero active big men who can shoot from deep and that causes somewhat of an issue offensively. The potential return of Kevin Love would help in that area, but the fact of the matter is rostering bigs who are not able to shoot from deep has caused some issues. Love can help unlock their offense a little bit while still playing Andre Drummond and Jarrett Allen big minutes. If they can find a way to mesh the playing styles of these three players they might be able to make games like Wednesday night not become a recurring theme.