Tyronn Lue looks for Cavs to get vocal on defense

Communication lacking as opponents are averaging nearly 127 points per game

Daryl Ruiter
October 23, 2018 - 2:51 pm
Tyronn Lue Cleveland Cavaliers

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports


Independence, OH (92.3 The Fan) – After watching his team cough up a 15-point first half lead and get blown out by the Atlanta Hawks Sunday evening to fall to 0-3, Tyronn Lue feels it is time to speak up.

On defense. 

“We’re trying to figure it out,” Lue said Tuesday, a day before the Cavs host the Brooklyn Nets.

“The biggest thing is communication. When there’s switches you gotta call the switches out so the man can’t get behind and get dunks and layups and easy shots. Our communication level and talking [has to improve].”

Lue stresses E.L.C., which stands for “Early, Loud and Continuous” to his team in meetings, film sessions and at practice and he’s looking for that to translate on the floor during games, but there is a slight problem he’s having with getting the response he’s looking for.

“By nature, we have some guys that are quiet guys so they need to speak up, speak louder and call out the coverages,” Lue said.

As a result, Lue finds himself being more vocal from the bench during games.

“If that’s what I gotta do, that’s what I gotta do,” Lue said.

The Cavs have given up at least 116 points in each of their 3 games and 131 and 133 respectively in losses to Minnesota and Atlanta.

“Communication is so key,” forward Kevin Love said, “because we’re going to have cross-matches. Some many teams now are pacing and space, that’s really the climate in the NBA right now so we’re going to have to figure ways to stay on guys opposite in transition, find ways to stop the ball whether it be in the full court or the half court.”

If Lue can’t get his players to start speaking up on the floor, he won’t hesitate to take them out.

“They gotta talk or they gotta come sit down,” Lue said.

Adjustment period – With the departure of LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Cavs have gone from a title contender to a team now searching to find their way and who they are early in the season.

Love admitted it has been an adjustment, at least early in the season.

“In some ways just adjusting your mindset and thinking there’s going to be some ups and downs and getting better, doing whatever it takes to help the team win,” Love said. “[Do] Some things that aren’t going to show up in the sat sheet but we have guys that are willing to fight extremely hard. That’s the type of mindset we have to have.

“It’s not going to be one of those things where we’re considered to be at the top of the top of the East. I mean, we lose the best player in the world and other guys are going to have to step up and have large responsibilities and sometimes that takes time.”

Avoiding schadenfreude – James and his Lakers, like the Cavs, are also off to an 0-3 start to the season but Love isn’t taking pleasure in watching the James gang on the west coast start slow.

“No. I wish him the best,” Love said. “I want everybody to lose. I wish we were the only team that won but that's not gonna happen that way."

Keeping quiet – Lue declined to discuss or disclose any potential lineup or rotation changes Tuesday that he might be considering or is ready to make.

“I’m not going to share,” Lue said.