When fans think of the Cleveland Cavaliers, they think of the Big 3—LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. In last year’s NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors only had to deal with one of them, as both Love and Irving were down with injuries. This year, the Big 3 are healthy and the Cavs are looking for payback.
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During an interview Wednesday with “Warriors Plus Minus,” Golden State forward Draymond Green was asked if he views the Cavs differently this year. Besides having Love and Irving back at full strength, Cleveland is shooting better and running more than they did last year.
Green gave a surprising answer, stating whom he thinks is the Cavs’ biggest difference-maker.
“Kyrie and Love definitely makes a difference, but I think the guy who’s been the difference-maker for them has been Channing Frye. That’s no knock to Kyrie or Kevin Love. They’ve both been playing great, but Channing Frye has been amazing. He’s shooting 58 percent from 3, and he’s a five-man. At the end of the day, Kevin Love, he’s a four and if you’re a four-man now, you’re getting used to guarding four-men on the perimeter. Five’s aren’t used to that.
“So, I think he’s been humongous for them and he’s obviously never going to get the credit, because they have so many guys with star power with ‘Bron, K-Love and Kyrie. He’s been incredible for them, and I think him alone gives them a completely different look. Let alone, adding Kyrie and Kevin Love to the fold.”
That’s right, Channing Frye, the 33-year-old veteran big man the Cavs picked up late in the season. Although he’s averaging only 15 minutes a game in the post-season and most fans would not name him as a key differentiator, Green made a valid point. Shooting over 58 percent from beyond the arc, Frye has been clutch.
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