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Larry Drew says he’s not coaching ‘to lose’ amid tanking perception

Cavs, Larry Drew

The Cavs are off to a dreadful start to this season. In fact, their 2-14 overall record is currently the worst mark in the NBA. As a result, there have been whispers of tanking, but head coach Larry Drew says he’s not coaching to lose.

“Am I coaching to win? Well, I’m not coaching to lose,” Cavs coach Larry Drew told Joe Vardon of The Athletic after Wednesday night’s 109-105 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. “I don’t put my time in to put guys out there to lose. I’ve never done that, I never will do that.”

Prior to the start of this season, Cavs management preached a sermon of competition, noting that they would compete for a spot in the playoffs. That idea seems like a pipe dream now, as the team is clearly going in the opposite direction.

Earlier this week, J.R. Smith, who is no longer active with the Cavs, laid out his thoughts on the current situation in Cleveland.

“I don’t think the goal is to win,” Smith told The Athletic. “The goal isn’t to go out and there and try to get as many wins as you can. “I think the goal is to develop and lose to get lottery picks. I think that was always the plan.”

Of course, the Cavs will never reveal their true intentions for this season. Perhaps they are tanking indeed. After all, there will be several talented players to choose from in next year’s draft.

Though their record doesn’t show it, Drew says the Cavs have been playing hard.

“I haven’t seen any quit in them,” Drew told Cleveland.com. “I won’t allow a player to be out on the floor and not play hard. That’s all, as far as a coach is concerned, you can ask.

“We expect guys to play hard and to do what I ask of them,” Drew added. “To coach to lose, I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how anybody can do that. That’s something I would never, ever, ever do.”

The Cavs will be back in action on Friday night, when they’ll travel to Philadelphia for a match-up against the Sixers. Tip-off inside the Wells Fargo Center is set for 7:30 p.m. EST.

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