John Beilein Calls Out Cavs Players, Says They Need More ‘Dog’ in Them

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Cleveland Cavaliers head coach John Beilein was disappointed in his team’s lack of effort on the defensive end when they lost to the Miami Heat, 108-97.

Rather than blame his team for not making enough winning plays offensively to combat the Heat on Thursday night, Beilein was more concerned about the Cavs’ defensive breakdown.

“I think we just have to have more dog in us,” he said. “I mean, we just have to. We’re almost there, where we’re ‘OK I hope he misses.’ No, we’ve got to make people miss. And so there is another … whether we’re going at eight or nine and we need to be at 10 to get it done, I don’t know. But, there’s just got to be … we don’t have great length to bother shooters. So we have to have incredible effort to bother shooters.”

The Cavs lack length particularly in their backcourt which features 6-foot-1 guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland in the starting lineup. Beilein wants his players to make up for the difference in length with aggression and toughness on the defensive end in order to win games.

Though the game got away from them during the first half of the game, Beilein praised his team’s effort in the second half.

“In the second half I think we were more of a swarming defense when we made that run,” Beilein said. “We were getting our hands on things, we were stealing it, we were turning it over. We had length out there, we had energy, it was a heck of an effort for us.”

The Cavaliers have a lot of young players on their roster and the hope is that they are only going to get better as the season progresses.

Beilein likely expects the Cavs to have growing pains, but he wants to make sure that the discipline and effort are evident on a nightly basis just like in their second-half performance against Miami.

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Omar is a former staff writer with the King James Gospel. He is a Cavaliers fan who has followed the team from the Mark Price-led 1980s team to the LeBron era. Omar applauded the King's return to the Land and celebrated the team's first championship in 2016. He has pledged to defend the Land every chance he gets.