There was an APB out for D-Will after dropping three straight goose eggs to start the Finals. Although he got limited minutes one would expect him to get a three, a two or at least a free throw. Instead he went on a cold 0 for 11 shooting drought with 5 of those misses coming from beyond the arc. Had D-Will made all of these shots he would have scored 21 points so he should have at least contributed a couple of points to positively impact his team coming off the bench.
Instead he only grabbed 6 rebounds and dropped 4 dimes in his first 37 minutes of play through game 3 of the finals. He was averaging 1.33 assists per game and 2 rebounds per game, low numbers even for a backup point guard. He also had an abysmal -12 plus minus in these three games which means that his team was outscored by 12 points through the first three games when he was on the court.
Like all former All-Stars though, his experience showed in Game 4. Feeding off the physical energy of his teammates he played aggressively on defense and stayed in front of his opponent like he did back in his Utah days. He scored 5 points in 12 minutes, all of them in the second half to help the Cavs open up their commanding lead on the Warriors.
His first basket was a driving layup on an assist from Iman Shumpert with 2:17 to go. This would open the lead up to 14 points by the Cavs. With 32 seconds left in the third quarter D-Will hit a 26 foot three point jumper to make the lead 112-93 Cleveland.
There have been Korver sightings in the Finals so far but they have been as few and far between as sightings of James Harden playing defense this year. With 1:32 left in the third quarter though, he also contributed a 26 foot three point jumper on an assist from Iman Shumpert. This made the lead 109-93.
The two three point daggers by these former Jazz men and all-stars were part of a record Finals night for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland made a Finals record 24 triples. This gave them an impressive three point percentage of 53.3% as they attempted 45 threes.
Big Takeaway: It wasn’t how many points that Korver and D-Will scored but it was when they scored. Before D-Will’s layup the Cavs were only up by 12 and the Warriors had been chipping away at an 18 point deficit. A layup and 2 three point daggers later by this dynamic duo and the lead had increased by 7 points in a few short minutes.
The Warriors get a lot out of their bench but look for continued bench production to be the key for the Cavs to win the series. Just like a missed Korver three might have lost Game 3, timely shots by he and D-Will could play a huge role in making another historic comeback in Finals history.
Last year nobody had come back from down 3-1 until the Cavs made history. They can do it again this year as they were down 3-0 going into Game 4. Deron Williams might have to change his jersey number from 31 to 3-0 if the Cavs make history again.
The Jazz had their backs against the wall a few times in the playoffs and Korver and D-Will made solid plays to take those teams far into the playoffs. It is now time for them to be savvy vets and pump their team up. The Comeback Kids are at it again.