Lue says Cavs have become too ‘predictable’
A few days ago, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue made it sound like he wants do-everything star forward LeBron James to suit up for all 82 games this season. If that happens, it means perhaps more of a burden for James to carry as 2017-18 wraps up.
As our David Aldridge pointed out in his Morning Tip, the Cavs and James are working to get new additions Rodney Hood, George Hill, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. up to speed as the season wanes. Lue also wants to keep his team from becoming too bland on offense as well. Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com has more from Lue, who after Monday’s practice expounded on his desire to make his team less “predictable”:
“I thought today was a good day, a good teaching day,” Lue said. “I was able to add some more stuff offensively because right now with only two or three practices, we’re predictable offensively and teams are kind of sitting on that and taking advantage of that.”
Lue introduced an offensive structure that starts with feeding the ball to the elbow and has “six or seven” options to pursue from there, depending on how the defense reacts. In the starting unit, the elbow feeds — while Kevin Love is hurt, at least — will flow through LeBron James. With the second unit, those touches will go through Larry Nance Jr. or Jeff Green.
Lue also used the practice session — the fourth since Cleveland welcomed George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Nance to the team — to encourage the new players not to defer to James so much.
Hood has seen the biggest drop in production since his move, averaging 10.6 points on 9.0 field goal attempts per game with the Cavs, down from 16.8 points on 14.2 FGA with the Utah Jazz this season. Hill is averaging 9.0 points on 8.6 shot attempts in Cleveland — on par with the 10.3 points on 7.6 shots he took per game in Sacramento. Clarkson is averaging 14.2 points on 11.0 shots with the Cavs, nearly identical to the 14.5 points on 12.6 shots he had for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. And Nance is averaging 8.6 points on 6.2 shots for Cleveland, mirroring the 8.6 points on 6.0 shots he had for L.A.
Lue said that getting Hood more involved is a priority.
“We definitely have to get him more touches,” Lue said. “That’s why I was saying we don’t have a lot of stuff in. So we have to make sure we have a balance of getting the ball in his hands and getting the ball in Jordan’s hands with that second unit and letting those guys be aggressive. Also at times when he has the ball he has to be aggressive. I think right now he’s in between, not sure. But we need him to be aggressive and score the basketball.”