Tyronn Lue holds film session addressing recent defensive woes
After dropping six of their last nine games, including Monday night’s 127-99 setback in Minnesota against the Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue decided to begin Wednesday’s practice with an in-depth film session.
According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, coach Lue wanted to point out the Cavs’ poor performance in the first quarter of Monday night’s game — a first quarter in which Minnesota jumped out to a 32-18 lead.
Cavs point guard Isaiah Thomas was asked about coach Lue’s film room message following Wednesday’s practice.
“We just got to play harder,” Thomas told ESPN. “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.”
It seems coach Lue held this film session to open his players’ eyes a bit, albeit in a quiet way.
“I mean we watched film and you could just see it,” Thomas said. “[Lue] doesn’t even have to say anything. Film doesn’t lie, and we just got to be more physical. We’ve got to be the aggressor at both ends of the floor, and when we do that we’re a tough team to beat, no matter who we’re playing. When we don’t and we let teams do what they want offensively, it’s tough, especially when you’re not hitting on the offensive end. You’re in a lose-lose situation when you let things happen like that.”
The Cavs are familiar with mid-season dips, but coach Lue says he’s just happy that his players are getting healthy again.
“We got a lot of new guys, so hopefully they don’t know the old Cavs,” Lue said. “But it’s been a tough stretch for us. … I like getting everyone healthy and getting everyone back, but now we just got to figure it out.”
Despite the Cavs’ recent slump, coach Lue is remaining optimistic.
“I’m not worried,” Lue said. “We’re the third seed right now with IT being out, D-Rose being out, T-Top being out. So we’re in a good position but we just got to start playing better offensively and defensively and we’ll be fine.”
The Cavs will be back in action on Thursday night, as they’re scheduled for a matchup in Toronto against the Raptors at 8:00 p.m. EST. TNT will have live broadcast coverage. Let’s see if coach Lue has his men ready for a bounce-back performance.