Despite a solid 13-8 record, which puts them in third place in the Eastern Conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers have a definite weakness.
They don’t have a clear, consistent, reliable contributor at the small forward spot, and head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has had something of a revolving door at the wing.
Of the four, Okoro may be struggling the most, as he is shooting just 37.5 percent from the field and 18.8 percent from 3-point range this season.
Are there any adjustments that can be made to help get Okoro going?
Use The 3-Point Shot As A Decoy
Although he improved to 35.0 percent from downtown last season, Okoro has never been a particularly good 3-point shooter, neither with the Cavs nor at Auburn University.
Defenses will likely often leave him open from that distance, but perhaps he needs to turn down more 3-point shots and instead attack the paint.
Isaac Okoro might be the best player in NBA history at attacking closeouts, in terms of how often he gets to the rim for somebody shooting 18% from 3
(I think his willingness to shoot during slumps is a factor, since volume might indicate spacing better than 3p%) pic.twitter.com/ULO0hRbZEs
— Bowser2Bowser (@bowser2bowser) November 25, 2022
Last season, 48.7 percent of Okoro’s shot attempts came within three feet of the basket, but that figure has dropped to 37.5 percent this season.
Sometimes, driving the ball to the basket and getting layups and dunks will make a player more confident shooting from the outside, and that extra confidence by itself can boost a player’s shooting percentage.
The Cavs’ lack of production at the wing position and off the bench is glaring, and if not addressed, it is the type of problem that could lead to an early playoff exit this spring.