Cleveland Cavaliers' Inconsistent Defensive Play Frustrates Coach Byron Scott

By John Raffel
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers just can’t seem to put together a good game of defense. No surprise there.

The surprise is that Byron Scott puts up with it as long as he does. But the Cavaliers coach doesn’t really have much choice, does he?

It was rather apparent in a 117-99 NBA loss to the Detroit Pistons on Friday that the Cavaliers had no D in their game plan.

On Saturday, the Cavaliers stunned the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-110 to put Scott in a better mood. But still, the Cavs’ are struggling big time on defense.

Detroit shot 54.2 percent against a rather lax Cleveland defense and Pistons players passed out 27 assists. The Cavaliers had five steals.

“There were problems everywhere. I thought we came out nonchalant and did not have the effort or the energy for whatever reason,” Scott said. “Again, like I told those guys in there, the reason they beat us pretty handily in the three times they beat us is because they play harder than we do for longer periods of time.”

At 13-34, the Cavaliers obviously have played poor defense more than once. Kyrie Irving and C.J. Miles had two steals apiece and seem to be playing some defense for the Cavaliers. Scott needs to find a way to fire up his team more effectively than what is happening at the present time.

Scott complained that his team has looked lackadaisical and lifeless, and he’s right, they have. The coach also threatened his players with longer practices. That might work. Anyone not playing defense for the Cavs should get a quick seat on the bench and stay there until they figure out how to play better D.

Saturday night, Irving gave Scott something to smile about with 35 points against the Thunder. It helped Scott forget about his defense’s problems, at least for a day or two.

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