By Brandon Easler
In a shocking new storyline to add to the Cavs drama filled season, Ty Lue is stepping away from coaching for the time being due to health reasons. According to Bleacher Report, Lue has had “chest pains and other troubling symptoms, compounded with loss of sleep, throughout the year.” Lue has been highly criticized this year for multiple reasons, which mainly include the lack of defensive intensity seen throughout the majority of the Cavs games and also his failure to realize the most optimal lineups and rotations.
Assistant coach Larry Drew will now take over head coaching duties for the foreseeable future. He has been an assistant coach for 21 of his 25 years in the league and has been with the Cavs for the past four seasons. His first head coaching stint with the Hawks went decently well, as he led them to the playoffs in all three of his seasons there. However, he could not get past the Eastern Conference Semifinals in any of those three seasons. He then went on to coach Milwaukee in the 2013-14 season, but they ended up having the worst record in the NBA. He was awarded Eastern Conference Coach of the Month one time during his tenure with the Hawks.
Drew will have to figure out new rotations very quickly with the playoffs approaching. The Cavs have also experienced a bevy of injuries lately, as players such as Cedi Osman, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr., Tristan Thompson, and Kyle Korver have all missed games along with Kevin Love who has already been out for two months. Drew is also faced with the task of getting the Cavs to play locked in on defense, as they currently rank as the third worst defense in the league. While that might be able to get them through the East, they will almost seemingly get swept by either the Rockets or Warriors in the Finals if they do not start playing together as a unit on defense.
This news comes at a pivotal point in the season for this Cavs team, as they are fighting for the number 3 spot in the East (half a game ahead of the Pacers and Wizards at the moment). LeBron has said that seeding does not matter to him, as he will go into anybody’s home court and give them a challenge. Also, the Cavs will most likely have to play both Boston and Toronto barring any major upsets on their path to the Finals. With only 13 games left for this team before the playoffs time is of the essence. Getting players healthy and back in the lineup as quick as possible will be the best thing for the Cavs, as Drew must integrate all of his pieces and get them accustomed to playing with each other before the games really count.
All stats courtesy of basketball-reference.com.
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