The Cavaliers have had an obviously less-than-ideal start to the season. They’ve dropped games to the Nets, Magic and Knicks while nearly blowing a game to the Bulls. It feels like months since the team started 2-0 with wins against the Celtics and the Bucks, and the squad has struggled to integrate new pieces in Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Jeff Green and Jae Crowder early in the season en route to a 3-4 start.
A day after LeBron’s famous Halloween party, the team reportedly sat down for an air-it-out meeting before practice. As reported by ESPN:
"I mean it's early in the season, I feel like, to do it but it wasn't one of those meetings where it was so 'over the top,' so to speak," Love said. "It was just figuring out exactly what we need to do. We watched certain segments on film of the game. We broke down film a little bit differently and came out here and got some good work in."
Tyronn Lue said that the Cavaliers need to figure out how to transfer their off-court bonds into on-court chemistry, also via ESPN:
"Off the court we've got great chemistry, great bond," said Cavs coach Tyronn Lue. "Just, on the court we just got to be better. Like, talking, communicating, enjoying the game together. Having fun. ... Right now guys are not having fun."
The report mentioned that almost everybody, including LeBron James, spoke at the meeting, while noting that it was productive.
This is the kind of meeting that always gets publicity early in the season, though it’s always worth questioning how effective they really are. The Cavs have problems built into their roster construction at the moment, with Rose, Wade and Green all using a way higher percentage of the team’s possessions than what is optimal. The team is old, with bad defenders littered across the roster.
Effort is a major issue, and maybe this meeting helps fix that in the short term, but this team also needs time. They have no clue where each other are going to be on the court at any given time, and that kind of chemistry isn’t built overnight. That’s not to say the team can’t figure it out quickly, and a good, open line of communication certainly can expedite that process.
In the meantime, my guess is that the Cavaliers will be a bit of a slog to watch. They just have to weather the storm until things coalesce.