The Cleveland Cavaliers will go how LeBron James goes. If James wants to do Iso’s, that’s what the team will allow. And apparently if James wants to listen to the head coach and his philosophy, then the team will do it, too. After newly appointed head coach Tyronn Lue implied a shift in the team’s conditioning is needed to play his uptempo style, James boldly spoke up about his coach’s orders and how the team will do whatever Lue asks them to do.
Based on Cleveland’s success playing at a slow pace, however, it’s curious to see how that vision is necessary for the Cavs. Cleveland went 23-5 in games this season when it used 90-99 possessions under David Blatt, versus just a 3-7 record when it used 100 possessions or more, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
“I don’t know. We don’t know,” said LeBron James when asked for an explanation for the shift, given the team’s solid track record playing with the 28th-ranked pace in the league (95 possessions per game). “This is what Coach [Lue] wants. This is what Coach wants to do, and this is what we’re going to do. This isn’t a LeBron thing. I’m talking out of IQ of the game, but this is what Coach wants to do, so this is what we’re going to do.
It’s rare James will speak up for a coach’s executive order without a James-like statement bending the comment for a slight. But, the good news is James has his new coach’s back. And if James has his back, so do the Cavaliers.