As the Cleveland Cavaliers have a slow and bumpy start to the season, many fans are wondering what is wrong and calling for the firing of Ty Lue. The team has started 3-3 and is currently 7th place in the Eastern Conference. The season is still very young so no one should worry about the record or seeding of the Cavs, but should fret about the overall play of the team. Defensively they have been horrendous, to say the least, and it seems they have yet to find their niche offensively.
Offensively, the only player on the team averaging over 20 points is LeBron James and only three players with over 9 minutes per game are shooting above 46%, LeBron, Thompson, and Korver (Tristan Thompson only averages 4 shots a game). Jeff Green has proven to be worth every penny of his contract yet Dwyane Wade has had an extremely slow start to the season, shooting 43% on 8 attempts per game, with 3.6 assists and 1.8 rebounds. Wade’s numbers highlight the biggest offensive issue for the Cavs, the lack of production from their bench. With only two people coming off the bench totaling double-digit point’s per game and Tristan Thompson only averaging 7 rebounds off the bench, the starters have been relied upon heavier than should be with this stacked roster.
Defensively, the Cavs are ranked 26th out of 30th with a net rating 112.0 and rank 22nd in points off of turnovers while allowing 109.5 points per game, ranked 24th. The Cavs currently have a defensive rating that is worse than the Phoenix Suns….. should I go any further? This is very similar to the team of last season in terms of defensive woes; however, the glaring difference is their ability to get back on defense has worsened. Teams are picking apart the Cavs on the fast break consistently no matter who is on the court. Jae Crowder has been the one bright side on defense and hopefully, his willingness to switch on every play and defend can spread to the rest of the team. LeBron needs to understand his want to play “free safety” much like Draymond does in Golden State, solely relies on the ability for the rest of the defense to switch and roll to the open man constantly. More times than not this season, LeBron has sagged off of his man attempting to free roam defensively, normally resulting in a score from his man. The team’s communication on defense is nowhere near capable of allowing LeBron to play defense in this manner.