Tyronn Lue is making it his mission to change the culture with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even if it means dragging the team kicking and screaming into playing with purpose.
Even with the team’s 0-3 start, we have seen an effort from the team to play the style of basketball Lue would like to see. After years of building an offense that best accentuates the strengths of LeBron James, we are getting to learn what type of coach Lue wants to be now that he has free reign over the team.
We have seen whoever gets the defensive rebound push the ball up floor rather than looking for the team’s primary initiator. As well as a dramatic increase in off-ball action and an emphasis on pace.
But one of the big issues so far this season has been the abysmal defense played by the Cavs. While the personnel to make this a great defense isn’t in place, Lue wants to see an increase in communication and effort.
#Cavs coach Tyronn Lue recently vowed to sit those who don't play with pace. Today he said he'll do the same with players who don't talk on defense.— Marla Ridenour (@MRidenourABJ) October 23, 2018
This is an obvious departure from the approach that became the Cavs signature over the last few years. Without championship aspirations for this season, there is no reason to save themselves for the playoffs or the formation of bad habits.
Last time LeBron left the team was gutted and the young players were allowed to play however they wanted. Those bad habits made it tough to integrate any of the leftover pieces into a winning situation once LeBron returned. Even the players that were able to be successful had to go through a transition period.
The Cavs appear to have learned from that period and are trying to make sure that Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman are developed the right way. Sexton has to go out and earn a starting role, and Lue is trying to ensure that minutes are only going to those that deserve it.