Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff calls out ‘fat cat’ mentality after team’s fifth consecutive loss

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MILWAUKEE — Nearly 30 minutes after Cleveland Cavaliers’ 113-98 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night, Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff still hadn’t arrived for his post-game press conference. The atypical late showing was the result of a lengthy conversation with his players after a fifth straight defeat.

“It’s more about fixing things than getting a message across right now,” Bickerstaff said. “We’re not playing winning basketball right now, it’s that simple. We have a formula that will enable us, will enable us to be successful. Holding each other to that is what we need to do, and right now we are .” not. It’s that simple. It’s my responsibility to look for and find the guys who are most willing to play the way we want to play and help us all be successful.’

After taking over from Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz in a box office hit this summer, the new-look Cavs got off to a flying start, winning eight consecutive games from October 22 to November 6. -digit leads in three of the five defeats.

“I honestly think we kind of have a fat cat mentality,” Bickerstaff said. “We went out and won eight games in a row, everyone gave us love and praise, and we felt really comfortable… It started on our west coast trip. I first saw it on the defensive side of the floor. We We are not who we are anymore. We got to a point where, and that’s respectful, we were confident that we could score the ball. But if you want to win in this league at the level that we hope , you cannot do that if you are not watching.”

Over the five-game losing streak, the Cavs allow 122 points per 100 possessions, which is the league’s worst defensive rating in that span. Jarrett Allen missing several games due to an ankle injury played a part in their struggles on that side of the ball, as did opposing team’s strong three-point shooting (37.6 percent). However, the lack of effort is the main concern.

“Defense comes down to the effort you’re willing to put in,” Bickerstaff said. “The second try, third try, fourth try you’re willing to do. Right now we don’t have enough guys doing the second, third, fourth try. Too many times I see us saving ourselves, and for what? I know not sure. Give up 21 resit points tonight, it shows you’re overworked.”

Donovan Mitchell had a quick explanation.

“It’s our defense,” he said. “Scoring will be whatever. That’s not really the concern. It’s really just our defense. Yes, we missed YES, but the one thing championship teams – what we want to be – do when guys are out, everyone keeps stepping on.”

As bad as things have been for the past 10 days, the Cavs are still tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference and a four-game homestand is coming up that will begin with a game against the lowly Charlotte Hornets. There is plenty of time to turn things around and they have shown they can play at a high level. Doing this every night remains the challenge for this team, but it’s one they’re confident they can overcome in the end.

“Do we believe there’s a good team in that locker room? Hell yeah,” Bickerstaff said. “Do we believe we have individual talent there, elite individual talent? Hell. But building a team takes more than that. It takes time, it takes experience together. My faith in this group hasn’t wavered.”


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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