Kyle Korver could be a difference-maker for Bucks

Ryan Aston , 2019-07-23 14:45:28
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Former Utah Jazz sharpshooter Kyle Korver could make a good offense even better with the Milwaukee Bucks next season.

As part of their pursuit of a championship-contending roster this summer, the Utah Jazz were forced to part with a multitude of players, including some fan favorites. And while Derrick Favors was the biggest domino to fall in making way for Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic, the end of Kyle Korver‘s second go-round in Jazzland is sure to draw some tears, too.

Ultimately, Korver’s dollar figure was just too high for him to remain in the 801 if the team was to make the moves it wanted. His contract was a crucial piece in the Conley deal as well. Nevertheless, things ended up working out pretty well for the old sharpshooter — he came to terms on a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks over the weekend.

In doing so, he set the stage for a reunion with Mike Budenholzer, who coached him in Atlanta. Also — he’s walking into an incredible situation with one of the elite teams in the Eastern Conference, led by reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

But if you think this is a one-sided affair, with Korver riding the coattails of one of the best, young cores in the game, think again.

Korver has a real chance to be a difference-maker for the Bucks next season, on outside shooting alone.

Last season, the 3-point shot was an integral part of Milwaukee’s attack; even more so than for the average NBA team. Per 100 possessions, only the Houston Rockets attempted more triples than Milwaukee (45.8 attempts to 36.7). However, they were middle of the road in terms of percentage at 35.3.

In particular, they were a bit underwhelming on wide-open threes, ranking 27th league-wide at just over 36 percent.

Last season, Korver was nearly a 40-percent 3-point shooter and took nearly a quarter of his attempts without a defender within six feet of him. He knocked down better than 42 percent of those wide-open attempts.

With Korver taking more of those shots for the Bucks, their already strong offense could become even more potent. He was tailor-made for Budenholzer’s five-out schemes and the Greek Freak, in particular, will enjoy a ton of floor space when he shares the court with the 38-year-old.

Korver will literally be the best shooter Antetokounmpo has ever played with, and his release is such that opposing defenses will have to think twice about helping out on the Bucks star lest they burned by his jumper.

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Last season, Korver changed everything for the Jazz offensively. Before he came to Utah, the team was scoring just 104.5 points per 100 possessions and making 31.5 percent of its threes. Post-Korver trade, the Jazz upped those numbers to 112.4/100 poss. and nearly 37 percent.

The difference may not be as dramatic in Milwaukee, but make no mistake about it — even a somewhat diminished Korver is really going to open things up for the Bucks, limited though his minutes may be.

In other words: look out, Eastern Conference!

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