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Report: Cavs Head Coach Larry Drew Has No Interest in Intentionally Tanking
- Updated: February 21, 2019
The Cleveland Cavaliers may be one of the worst teams in the NBA, but head coach Larry Drew doesn’t have any interest in intentionally tanking. His focus remains on winning games with the team he has.
“I really don’t listen much to what people want,” Drew said. “I just know what my job is, and I take every game as a game that we’re going out there to compete and play at a high level.”
After a brief pause, Drew accentuated his point with a simple declaration.
“And win,” Drew said.
Cavs fans might be looking towards the future and more specifically, the prospect of drafting Zion Williamson first overall. But Drew and his coaching staff are trying to avoid looking too far ahead.
“Certainly I know people are looking at the future,” Drew said. “But me personally, I have to look at the present.”
There are no guarantees that Drew is coaching in Cleveland next season so he has little incentive to tank. His reputation is at stake.
“There will be no slippage (in effort), regardless of our record, regardless of the situation,” he said. “We’re going to continue to be a professional team and conduct ourselves in a professional manner.
“Every time we step in between those lines, we’re going to be ready and we’re going to play as hard as we can.”
The Cavs might as well try to win every game the rest of the way. The lottery odds still favor the worst teams, but the chances at securing the first overall pick are distributed quite differently this year.
The worst three teams each have a 14 percent chance at landing the first-overall pick. The fourth-worst team has a 12.5 percent chance and the fifth-worst has a 10.5 percent chance. In other words, the teams at the bottom of the standings will all have similar odds to land the coveted first pick.