Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff calls out ‘fat cat’ mentality after team’s fifth straight loss


MILWAUKEE — Practically half-hour after the Cleveland Cavaliers misplaced 113-98 to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night time, Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff nonetheless hadn’t arrived for his postgame press convention. The uncharacteristic displaying in direction of the tip of the sport was the results of a prolonged post-match dialog together with his gamers following their fifth straight defeat.

“It is extra about sorting issues out than getting a message throughout at this level,” Bickerstaff mentioned. “We’re not taking part in successful basketball proper now, it is that straightforward. We’ve a system that permits us, will enable us to succeed. Protecting one another in that is what now we have to do, and proper now we’re not. It is that straightforward. It is my accountability to search for and discover the fellows which might be extra keen to play the best way we wish and assist us succeed.”

After buying Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz in a blockbuster commerce this summer time, the Cavs’ new look received off to a great begin, successful eight straight video games from Oct. 22 to Nov. 6. -digit leads in three of 5 defeats.

“I believe, truthfully, now we have a fats cat mentality,” Bickerstaff mentioned. “We went out and gained eight video games in a row, everybody was giving us love and praising us, and we received actually snug… It began on our West Coast journey. I noticed it for the primary time on the defensive a part of the bottom. We stopped being who we’re. We received to some extent the place, respectfully, we have been assured that we may rating the ball. However if you wish to win this league to the extent we count on, you may’t do it in the event you do not shield your self.”

All through their five-game dropping streak, the Cavs are permitting 122 factors per 100 possessions, which is the worst defensive score within the league throughout that span. Jarrett Allen, who missed a number of video games with an ankle damage, performed a giant half in his struggles on that facet of the ball, as did the opposition’s sturdy 3-point taking pictures (37.6 p.c). Lack of effort, nonetheless, is the largest concern.

“Protection comes right down to the hassle you are keen to place in,” mentioned Bickerstaff. “The second effort, third effort, fourth effort you are keen to place in. Proper now, we do not have sufficient guys who’re placing within the second, third, and fourth efforts. I typically discover ourselves saving ourselves, and for what? Unsure Hand over 21 second likelihood factors tonight, it exhibits you are being outmatched.

Donovan Mitchell gave a fast clarification.

“It is our protection,” he mentioned. “The rating goes to be no matter. That is probably not the priority. It is actually simply our protection. Sure, we miss the JA, however the one factor champion groups – which we aspire to be – do when the fellows are out, everybody continues to step up.”

As dangerous as issues have been these final 10 days, the Cavs are nonetheless fourth within the Japanese Convention and have a four-game run to play, which begins with a sport in opposition to the lowly Charlotte Hornets. There’s loads of time to show issues round and so they’ve proven they’ll play at a excessive degree. Doing it each night time stays the problem for this group, however they’re assured they’ll beat it.

“Will we consider there is a good group in that locker room? In fact we do,” mentioned Bickerstaff. “Will we consider now we have particular person expertise, elite particular person expertise? In fact we do. However constructing a group takes greater than that. It takes time, it takes expertise collectively. My perception on this group has not wavered.”