Former Cavs head coach explains what the team needs in order to get ‘refocused’ amid rough stretch

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Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers have lost three straight games and have fallen to the No. 6 spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Cavs are just 1-4 since the All-Star break after dropping Friday’s matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers. All-Star point guard Darius Garland has missed a few games recently, and the team has yet to find the success that it had earlier in the season.

Former Cavs head coach Mike Fratello outlined what he thinks the team needs in order to get back on track this season.

“It doesn’t take much to slip on defense,” Fratello told Terry Pluto of “As a coach, you need a really good hard practice or two to get things refocused. But this time of year, the schedule is a killer. You are playing almost every other day. You are dealing with injured players and load management (playing time). It’s hard to practice as you’d like.”

The Cavs are fourth in the NBA in defensive rating this season, but they have allowed at least 119 points in each of their last three games. With Caris LeVert currently out due to a foot injury, Cleveland doesn’t necessarily have the offensive firepower to keep up when it allows that many points.

Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff will need to find a way to refocus his team and make sure that Cleveland doesn’t fall out of the top six seeds in the East. The Cavs are looking to avoid having to play in the league’s play-in tournament in order to secure a playoff spot this season.

Things don’t get much easier for the Cavs, as they face the Toronto Raptors in their next game. The Raptors are just two games behind Cleveland for the No. 6 spot in the East, so it is crucial that Cleveland puts together a good performance on Sunday night at home.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.