Now that LeBron James is gone from Cleveland, Tyronn Lue has the freedom to be the head-coach he always wanted to be and finally the league will also be able to really understand who he truly is and what does he believes as a coach.
To wit: The Cleveland Cavaliers just shortened the shot clock on their practices. They are playing under a 12 second shot clock rule instead of the league’s 24 shot clock rule.
“I don’t change because the league says or whatever they say,” Lue told Cleveland’s reporters last week. “I do what’s best for the team. Whatever that may be, that’s what we’re going to do.”
Lue firmly believes the Cavs have a really good group of quality ball handlers on the team and besides Tristan Thompson, everyone else has green light to grab the defensive rebound, put the ball on the floor and go.
Let’s say the Cavaliers will be using the five: Kevin Love, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson, Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman. According to Lue all of those players have the ability to be a at least a decent playmaker. No one can argue that every one of those five players has the ability to create his own shot too, so why shouldn’t the Cavs take advantage of it?
“Getting used to this pace is going to take a minute,” Cavs veteran guard George Hill admitted. “I think we hit the ground in Game One (of the Pre Season) running and doing a great job on both ends pushing the pace but also defending at a high level and sharing the ball. I’m sure our pace is going to be better and people are going to be in better shape and we’re going to figure it all out.”
The idea of the 12 second shot clock isn’t new. Lue stole it from Doug Collins, his former coach back when Lue was playing alongside living legend Michael Jordan in the Washington Wizards from 2001 to 2003.
Like George Hill said, by playing this way the Cavs will not only play a faster pace obviously, they will be in better shape consequently, but also they will have more looks on offense. More running down the floor can mean more decision making too, at least quicker decision making habits will be in the process, but definitly this will result in more shots on offense.
“We don’t want to be a team that’s only getting 60 to 70 shots per game if we can get 90 shots a game,” Hill said. “Gives us more opportunity to score. But also picks up the pace and hopefully those teams you’re playing against doesn’t train that way and you can tire them out. In the fourth quarter their legs are gone. We’re going to try to figure it out and if doesn’t work then I’m sure we are going to make adjustments.”
Without the gravity of LeBron James on the court the Cavs are now in pursuit of their new identity and for coach Lue that means faster pace on transitions. However, once the Cavs are playing halfcourt basketball he wants more ball movement from side to side, so more players can be involved on each possession. Constant movement.
The Cavaliers ranked 12th in Pace Factor during the 2017-18 season and they took the fifth-fewest shot attempts per game last season, averaging 84.8.
12 second rule shot clock may be the answer.