Cavaliers' coach Tyronn Lue starts practice with film session to discuss defense
Is it time to panic for the defending East Champions?
What's the story?
Dave McMenamin of ESPN is reporting that Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue is trying to change things up in practice in order to cure their defensive woes. Wednesday's practice started with a film session to address these problems after losing six of their past nine games.
In case you didn't know...
Before his first coaching job with the Boston Celtics, Lue enjoyed an 11-year career in the NBA with eight different teams. He averaged 8.5 points per game and 3.1 assists per game during that span.
The heart of the matter...
The final straw may have been a 28-point blowout loss to Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday evening. Instead of putting together specific plays, Lue showed the entire first quarter against Minnesota, a quarter that the Timberwolves led 32-18.
Guard Isaiah Thomas (in his first year on the team) relayed the message from this film session with the quote below:
"We just got to play harder," guard Isaiah Thomas said. "We've got to play harder on both ends; we've got to push the pace offensively; we've got to pressure up defensively and take teams out of what they want to do. Teams are doing whatever they want to us at that end of the floor. I think if we do that then that will be half the battle. We'll fix things on offense, but defensively we've just got to play harder, be more physical, take away what teams want to do."
Lue's purpose of the film session was to hope his players would see it as a slap in the face to get their attention as they attempt to climb the standings in the Eastern Conference. As of Wednesday, the Cavaliers were in third place and five and a half games behind the leading Boston Celtics.
The Cavaliers (26-14) will face a tough test on Thursday night when they take on the Toronto Raptors (28-11). This game will air live on TNT.
The Cavs' defense has given up over 100 points in six straight games, including 127 in the past two games. I think it was smart of Lue to try to give his players a "slap in the face" to see if they respond. We won't have to wait long to see if it paid dividends.