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Cavs need their fringe players to step up in the Finals

The Cavaliers have had a dominant run in the East. After defeating the Isaiah Thomas-less Boston Celtics 135-104 on Thursday night, Cleveland has a one-way ticket to the NBA Finals to face the Golden State Warriors on the 1st of June at the Oracle Arena.

And while LeBron James is having one of his best postseasons – he has had eleven contests where he has scored 30+ points and shot better than 50 percent from the field – it’s going to take more than that to defeat a team that has two former MVPs and four NBA All-Stars in the starting line-up.

The Cavaliers need to figure out a more balanced approach especially on the offensive end if they want to win their second title. Other players not named Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love need to either have a hot night or provide a more consistent and solid contribution.

Iman Shumpert

Shumpert has been underwhelming during the postseason, averaging a meager 4.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and one assist. He only attempts 3.6 field goals per game and out of those, only 1.8 are gold. The shooting guard barely draws any fouls, averaging 0.6 trips to the line

The shooting guard has had two games in the postseason where he did not score at all but played a total of 26 minutes in these contests. In Game Four in the Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Toronto Raptors, he attempted only one field goal and one shot from beyond the arc and did not convert any. During the First Round series against the Indiana Pacers, Shumpert ended Game Three without attempting a shot.

He has only had one contest where he has scored in double digits and that was against the Raptors in Game Two when he logged 14 points.

With J.R Smith recovering from a thumb injury, the Cavaliers will need Shumpert to be more consistent backup. He also needs to use his physicality and athleticism to draw more fouls and to become a valuable contributor on the defensive end.

Kyle Korver

Korver was brought to the Cavaliers with the expectation that he would be a dangerous weapon off the bench with his perimeter shooting.

In Games Three and Four of the Raptors series, the three-point specialist was hot from downtown, shooting 8-out-of-12 from beyond the arc to tally a total of 32 points.

However, outside of those two games, Korver has also been relatively quiet averaging 6.3 points, two rebounds and 0.9 assists. He has nine contests where he has scored in single digits and in Game Five of the Boston series, he did not score or attempt a field goal.

Korver is capable of shooting more and doing so efficiently. Last season as an Atlanta Hawk, he averaged 10.3 points while shooting 47 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc.

Deron Williams

In the closing game of the Eastern Conference Finals, Williams showed that he is competent after recording 14 points from 5-out-of 6 shooting from the field with only 17 minutes of playing time.

Outside of this game and Game Four of the Pacers series, Williams has been cold.

The 32-year-old veteran point guard has played 201 minutes in the postseason and has averaged 5.6 points, 2.5 assists and 1.2 rebounds.

Williams needs to be more assertive and set the tone for the bench unit when Irving is not on the floor or become a role player when he plays big minutes.

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