After watching the Cleveland Cavaliers drop their ninth consecutive game to fall to 8-32 on the year, the team’s beleaguered head coach Larry Drew is thinking of making changes to the team’s lineup.
“I’m going to probably have to do something different with my lineup. That lineup is not a very energized lineup right now. They show flashes of it but they can’t sustain it, so I may have to make some adjustments.”
One continuing issue for the Cavs has been their penchant for falling apart in the second half. That problem again surfaced on Saturday night, with the Pelicans scoring the first 15 points after the halftime break, which caused Drew to remove all but one of the team’s starters for the remainder of the quarter.
Drew indicated that he had no idea whether making such a move would work, but that the recent futility of the team, which has seen them lose their last three games by 20 points or more, has to end:
“In this type situation you have to search until you can find it. I don’t know if changing the lineup will do it. We can’t continue to go at this rate. I refuse to. I think it’s important that these guys understand that one, it’s just not acceptable and two, I’m not going to accept it and let this continue at this pace. I’ve got to try something different, I’ve got to do something different to see if we can get some positive results.”
One of the reasons for the Cavs’ struggles stems from their injury-plagued roster, which resulted in having just nine players available to play on Saturday night.
Two reserves who could potentially move into a starting role are guards Jordan Clarkson and Jalen Jones. Clarkson has the potential to offer the Cavs instant offense, scoring a game-high 23 points in the loss to the Pelicans.
“Sure, he’s a candidate,” Drew said. “The way he played, the way he shot the basketball, the way he got to the basket.”
As for Jones, even though he was only signed last month by the Cavaliers, his style of play has caught the eye of Drew:
“The one thing I really like about that kid, I really respect about that kid, is that he plays hard. I don’t care what the score is, he gets in the game and lays it on the line. We just need more people playing like that, playing with that type of energy, that type of intensity and playing that hard every possession.”
The Cavs will look to break their losing streak on Tuesday night, when they host the Indiana Pacers. The following night, they begin a six-game road trip with a rematch against the Pelicans.