With the Cavaliers losing the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors, there is, of course a lot of scrutiny on the organization, and what the Cavs will do going forward.
There is the matter of whether or not GM David Griffin will stay on in that capacity, and what changes in the roster will be made for the 2017-18 season.
One of the things the lazy fans and media have talked about is the possibility of a coaching charge, which we find ridiculous. You cannot point to anything Tyronn Lue did in The Finals to cost the Cavaliers the series.
Is this to say Lue is the greatest coach in the NBA? No, but we would put him in the upper tier of head coaches in the Association.
He was hamstrung against Golden State because his bench contributed basically nothing, so he was manipulating his reserves in order to get his starters some rest without the game getting out of hand. That causes him to be in a defensive coaching style.
On the other hand, a criticism of Lue was that he didn’t develop some of the players on the bench during the regular season. The Cavaliers played very well in February and Derrick Williams was a solid contributor during that month, yet he disappeared in March and throughout the playoffs.
We don’t go to practice, so we don’t know if something happened to cause Williams to fall out of favor, but he is the type of player who it seems could have helped against the Warriors.
Again, just because we think Lue is one of the NBA’s better coaches, doesn’t mean there aren’t things he should do differently next season.
The first is to establish more of a defensive mindset from the start of training camp. After the calendar switched to 2017, the ability to stop opponents from scoring fell greatly.
Once the playoffs started, the Cavs used some different schemes and the defense improved, that worked, but it shouldn’t come down to that.
And it has been reported that the head coach himself takes more of a role in the defense once the regular season ends. It starts with the individual, but perhaps there should be more of a mindset on that side of the ball right from the get go.
The second change that needs to be made is monitoring minutes, especially for James, who will turn 33 years old during next season.
In conjunction with this, the coaching staff must come up with a plan to play better when James isn’t in the game.
Even when James is on the bench, Lue still has Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love on the floor, and it shouldn’t be difficult to make sure those two are on the floor when James isn’t.
The ball movement that is present when James is on the floor seems to stop when the best player in the game isn’t on the floor. The coach has to insist the same style of play occurs no matter who is on the court.
That was also evident in the playoffs when Irving was playing iso ball, and his shot wasn’t going down. That isn’t pretty basketball, in fact, it is conducive to the other team going on a run.
The point here is Lue was good enough to guide the Cavs to a title a year ago, and this year, some of his moves didn’t work because his bench didn’t help him out.
So save the hot takes to get a new coach. Tyronn Lue is the man for the job.