Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff calls out the ‘fats cat’ mentality after the team’s fifth consecutive loss

MILWAUKEE — Nearly half-hour after the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 113-98 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night time, Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff had nonetheless not arrived for his postgame press convention. The atypical late displaying was the results of an extended postgame speak together with his gamers following a fifth consecutive defeat.

“It’s extra about fixing issues than getting a message throughout at this level,” Bickerstaff stated. “We’re not enjoying successful basketball proper now, it is that easy. We have a formulation in place that enables us, will permit us, to achieve success. Holding one another to that’s what we’ve got to do, and proper now we’re not. It’s that easy. It’s my duty to look and discover the guys which are most keen to play the approach we need to play and assist us all achieve success.”

After buying Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz in a blockbuster commerce this summer season, the new-look Cavs obtained off to a flying begin, successful eight consecutive video games from Oct. 22 to Nov. 6. They haven’t gained since then, regardless of holding double-digit leads in three of the 5 defeats.

“I believe actually we obtained type of a fats cat mentality,” Bickerstaff stated. “We went out and gained eight video games in a row, everyone was giving us love and praising us, and we obtained actually snug… It began on our West Coast journey. I first noticed it on the defensive finish of the ground. We obtained away from being who we’re. We obtained to a degree the place, and respectfully so, that we had been assured we might rating the ball. But if you wish to win on this league to the stage we hope to, you’ll be able to’t do it when you do not guard.”

Over the five-game shedding streak, the Cavs are permitting 122 factors per 100 possessions, which is the worst defensive ranking in the league throughout that interval. Jarrett Allen lacking a number of video games as a result of an ankle harm has performed a component of their struggles on that aspect of the ball, as has opponents’ robust 3-point capturing (37.6 p.c). The lack of effort, although, is the greatest concern.

“Defense comes right down to the effort you are keen to place in,” Bickerstaff stated. “The second effort, third effort, fourth effort you are keen to place in. Right now, we do not have sufficient guys who’re placing in the second, third, and fourth efforts. Too usually, I see us saving ourselves, and for what? I’m undecided. Give up 21 second-chance factors tonight, it exhibits you are being outworked.”

Donovan Mitchell had a fast clarification.

“It’s our protection,” he stated. “Scoring is gonna be no matter. That’s not likely the concern. It’s actually simply our protection. Yeah, we missed JA, however the one factor that championship groups — which we aspire to be — do when guys are out, everyone continues to step up.”

As unhealthy as issues have been over the previous 10 days, the Cavs are nonetheless in fourth place in the Eastern Conference and have a four-game homestand developing that begins with a match-up in opposition to the lowly Charlotte Hornets. There’s loads of time to show issues again round, they usually’ve proven they will play at a excessive stage. Doing so each night time stays the problem for this group, but it surely’s one they’re assured they will ultimately conquer.

“Do we consider that there is a good group in that locker room? Hell yeah,” Bickerstaff stated. “Do we consider we have got particular person expertise in there, elite particular person expertise? Hell yeah. But constructing a group takes greater than that. It takes time, it takes expertise collectively. My perception on this group has not wavered.”

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