Why Cleveland Cavaliers Need to Improve Their Defense

Brad Rempel- USA TODAY Sports

When Dan Gilbert fired Byron Scott and rehired former coach Mike Brown, the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ emphasis was placed on a ‘defense first’ motto and that’s what the fans expected — a tough team defensively that other NBA teams would struggle to dominate against. The Cavaliers’ most recent game has proven they have a long way to go, as the Minnesota Timberwolves destroyed them 124-95.

Cleveland has a solid team and that will take them far at times, but they lack a genuine scoring threat and will need to improve defensively if they are to win games and meet their playoff ambitions. The Cavaliers always stated that Mike Brown would improve their defense, but the Wolves scored 100 points with time remaining in the third quarter. That’s not something any NBA team should do ever, let alone a team that’s trying to be a defense-first unit.

It is a new system this young Cavaliers roster is having to learn under Brown, but they should have performed better against the Wolves? Corey Brewer had 27 points, Kevin Love had 33 points and Ricky Rubio had his career-high in assists with 16. Statistics like that are ones that should only be happening in video games.

The Wolves led by 39 points at one point and rested starters to rest for the remainder of the game, something which should not be happening in NBA games. This devastating defeat left the Cavaliers at 0-6 on the road for the season. At least Brown seemed calm after the game as he acknowledged that improvement is needed.

What’s next for the struggling Cavaliers? They need to work on both ends of the floor and get a settled starting five, and then try to get the fundamentals of the game correct before shooting for bigger things. It’s evident that there’s talent within this roster, but will it click and all come together this season, or will the Cavaliers face another lottery selection come June 2014?

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