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Report: Cavs Discussing Virtual Realty to Implement in Practices Moving Forward
- Updated: May 7, 2020
A new report indicates that the Cleveland Cavaliers are looking at technology in their bid to speed up the development of the team’s younger players.
Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com looked at how the Cavaliers are seeking to use virtual reality. Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff visualizes allowing players to hone their skills without actually stepping on the court.
“Bickerstaff has been brainstorming ideas with other coaches around the league, including buddies Lloyd Pierce of the Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento’s Luke Walton, with whom Bickerstaff was set to join before taking the Cavaliers lead assistant job under ex-coach John Beilein,” Fedor wrote.
“One creative development tool that has come up: Virtual reality.
“’You basically can put a guy on the floor and he’s got to move through space like he would on a real court playing against opponents,’ Bickerstaff said.”
Rookie Darius Garland has had plenty of ups and downs in his first year, with his pick-and-roll play being one of the areas where he needs to improve.
The chief reason why such steps might be implemented is because of the coronavirus guidelines instituted by the NBA. These include not being allowed to have either Bickerstaff or his top assistants in the building with Garland or another player who might be practicing.
The idea came about in the wake of the NBA shutdown due to the virus as a way to move forward without violating the guidelines.
“Multiple members of the organization have brought virtual reality up when discussing a path to development at this uncertain time,” Fedor wrote. “It’s clearly on Cleveland’s radar.
“’I like that space a lot,’ one member of the organization told cleveland.com.”
Without virtual reality, players have been limited to watching videos of games, speaking with the coaches about their play and poring over statistics.
While those aspects have value, they pale in comparison to being able to simulate game action with such advanced technology.
One member of the Cavaliers already has experience with virtual reality, center Andre Drummond. While with the Detroit Pistons in 2016, he used the technology to try to improve his miserable free-throw shooting.
While Drummond’s percentage from the line (Pistons and Cavaliers combined) this year is still only 57.5 percent, he had averaged less than 40 percent in four of his first five seasons.
The long road to rebuilding the Cavaliers currently has the coronavirus standing in the way of progress. Yet, it’s clear that the Cavaliers are looking at every avenue to adapt to the new normal.