Deron Williams excited about joining the Cleveland Cavaliers
Butler posted his first triple double of the season in a big win over a Cavaliers team lacking its four-time MVP. Williams had been playing for the Dallas Mavericks and before that there were stops with the Brooklyn Nets and the Utah Jazz. But if Williams can do even a passable job at alleviating the playmaking deficiency that's forced James into long minutes, he may prove just as crucial as either of those players.
As he stood outside the Cavs' locker room, Williams, who played on two U.S. Olympic teams with LeBron James, already looked at home. "From top to bottom, the Cavs are really deep". In the first half, Kyrie Irving and Kyle Korver scored or assisted on 39 of the Cavs 56 points. On Friday, March 3, the Cavs travel to the Philips Arena to face the Atlanta Hawks (32-26), who are in fifth place and 8.5 games behind the Cleveland. "We're looking at different things and different matchups so when we get into the playoffs we know what to expect".
Chicago acquired point guard Cameron Payne in a trade deadline deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He missed his first five shots and didn't have a point until there were two minutes left in the second quarter, but he was contributing in other ways with seven rebounds and four assists in the first quarter. The way he can defend, rebound the basketball, get guys involved, get guys easy shots, can score the basketball, knowing when to pick and choose his spots, when to be aggressively offensively but also getting guys involved. He's got size and can switch on defense. He can play with the ball.
Korver is convinced Williams will immediately adjust to coming off the bench for the Cavs. "There's a real need for someone like him". You kept all that, and now LeBron will re-light the fuse in Deron Williams, and LeBron will faith-heal Deron from all of his nagging injuries - because LeBron is capable of doing that, right? "This is an opportunity to come and win a championship, possibly, play at a high level and be a part of a great team".
The matchup between All-Star starters LeBron James (health permitting) and Giannis Antetokounmpo is sure to draw plenty of attention, and that will only be boosted further by the bright shine of the national television spotlight.
Meanwhile, Kevin Durant had 27 points in his return as the Golden State Warriors overcame the worst three-point shooting performance of Stephen Curry's career in a 119-108 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. For whatever reason, free agent center Larry Sanders appears to be a no-go after last week's audition in Cleveland.
As for the possibility of helping lure Bogut to Cleveland, Williams said with a smile, "We've been in contact".
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