Larry Drew Criticizes Cleveland Cavaliers Defense Following Double-Digit Loss

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The Cleveland Cavaliers have struggled on both sides of the ball this season, but Cavs head coach Larry Drew believes that the defensive unit has been particularly lacking.

Following the Cavs’ 128-105 defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, Drew made it clear where he wants to see his squad improve.

In the loss, the Cavs managed to lead, 36-29, after one quarter, but were unable to sustain that competitiveness. In the second quarter, they were outscored, 36-22. While the Cavs found themselves down just four points entering the fourth quarter of the game, the contest quickly turned into a blowout as the Sixers outscored them, 39-20, in the final frame.

One of the clearest reasons for the Cavs’ decline on the defensive side can be tied to the departure of veteran forward LeBron James this past July. As a result, the Cavs embarked on a rebuilding process that escalated after the team’s slow start and subsequent dismissal of former head coach Tyronn Lue.

The firing of Lue came after the Cavaliers lost all six of their first games of the season. Since then, little progress has been made when it comes to the team’s success on the court. Injuries to key players coupled with trades of once-valued veterans has created a constant stream of new players into Cleveland’s rotation. That has made it next to impossible to establish a set lineup during the opening period of games.

Regarding the offensive woes, those issues are likely to remain as long as the ones on defense are still present.

Noticeable improvement isn’t all that likely this season. It seems clear that the Cavaliers hope that the current reshaping of their roster and the addition of talent during the offseason will help remedy this concern.

The Cavs’ defense will be tested greatly in the near future as they set to begin a three-game road trip on Tuesday night in Indianapolis.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.