Larry Drew believes that the Cavs are making improvements

Cleveland wants to show the fight to win

Tim Grattan
November 12, 2018 - 4:06 pm

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports


INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) -- Improvement and showing the will to fight is on the minds of the players and the coaching staff of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Since the 126-94 blowout loss to the Charlotte Hornets back on Nov. 3, coach Larry Drew sees the growth from his team over the last few games and being competitive in those games. Plus, playing two big men at once, it is also starting to form chemistry. 

“I think we’re starting to figure out each other,” Drew said. “I think they're starting to understand in what I’m looking for; I’m starting to get a feel for different rotations. We’ve been starting to look at different rotations – obviously playing two big guys has some merit.”

With the Hornets coming to town on Tuesday night, Drew knows that there is one area his team needs to improve on and believes the Cavs work on that problem.

“There’s still some areas we need to improve on,” he said. “A glaring weakness the last time we played Charlotte was our transition defense. I feel that we’ve gotten better with our transition defense – and making a slight adjustment has fixed that.”

Cleveland forward Tristan Thompson is seeing a better product out of his teammates and sees the team taking a step in the right direction. 

“It started in Orlando last Monday when we took some steps there and had a chance to win the ballgame," Thompson said. "Against a playoff-like team in OKC -- we fought back, and we were up by two, but unfortunately, we lost. The same thing happened in Chicago. We’re right there and if you get two of those three everything is different. 

Thompson, who’s averaging a double-double of 10.2 points and 10.2 rebounds in 12 games, likes how his teammates are showing no will to quit on each other.

“I like our fight, I like how guys are playing and not giving up on the end of the day,” he said. “In order to teach these young guys what it takes to win, you have to compete every night. Once you start to do that, you’ll start to see wins to come.” 

Bringing the buzz

The Hornets make their first trip to Cleveland on Tuesday night and will face the Cavs for the second time this season. Charlotte is 7-6 overall and leads the Southwest Division by a game over the Orlando Magic. 

Point guard Kemba Walker leads the team in scoring with 27.9 points per game and 6.3 assists. 

Cleveland leads the all-time series against Charlotte, 65-42.

Injury notes

Cleveland forward Cedi Osman participated in practice Monday, but he’s ruled out against Charlotte on Tuesday. Osman has been out with back spasms that he suffered in a loss to Orlando last Wednesday.

Guard J.R. Smith (illness) and Kyle Korver (sore foot) did not practice Monday. According to Drew, Korver could be out for the next two games.