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


MILWAUKEE — Almost 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 profitable basketball proper now, it is that straightforward. We have now a method that enables us, will permit us to succeed. Protecting one another in that is what we’ve to do, and proper now we’re not. It is that straightforward. It is my duty to search for and discover the blokes which are extra prepared 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 season, the Cavs’ new look acquired off to a very good begin, profitable eight straight video games from Oct. 22 to Nov. 6. -digit leads in three of 5 defeats.

“I believe, truthfully, we’ve a fats cat mentality,” Bickerstaff mentioned. “We went out and received eight video games in a row, everybody was giving us love and praising us, and we acquired actually comfy… 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 acquired to a degree 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 possibly can’t do it for those who do not shield your self.”

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

“Protection comes all the way down to the hassle you are prepared to place in,” mentioned Bickerstaff. “The second effort, third effort, fourth effort you are prepared to place in. Proper now, we do not have sufficient guys who’re placing within the second, third, and fourth efforts. I usually discover ourselves saving ourselves, and for what? Unsure Surrender 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 not likely 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 blokes are out, everybody continues to step up.”

As unhealthy as issues have been these final 10 days, the Cavs are nonetheless fourth within the Jap Convention and have a four-game run to play, which begins with a recreation 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 crew, however they’re assured they’ll beat it.

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