After loss to Bulls, Tyronn Lue says Cavs not in good enough shape

After loss to Bulls, Tyronn Lue says Cavs not in good enough shape

By James Herbert | NBA writer

Tyronn Lue's head-coaching debut didn't go so well.

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost 96-83 at home to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, shooting 37.2 percent from the field and 4 for 24 (16.7 percent) from the 3-point line, then Lue told reporters that they weren't in good enough shape. He specifically mentioned the Cavs' three stars -- LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving -- asking for substitutions.

"I don't think we're in good enough shape," Lue said, via scout.com's Hayden Grove. "I think early we wanted to push it, we wanted to open the floor. I think we came out and did that, and then I think we dropped off the map. I think we got tired. Bron came out early, Ky wanted to come out early, Kevin wanted to come out early, so I just don't think we're in good enough shape right now to play the style we want to play."

It appeared the Cavaliers wanted to make a statement in their first game for Lue, and they failed. They started the game with lots of energy on both ends, but it faded. Perhaps they were pressing; perhaps they got discouraged when things weren't going their way; perhaps, like Lue said, they just need to be in better condition. In any case, it's not a great sign that Lue is talking about fitness levels after the team's 42nd game. Nor it is encouraging that Cleveland looked disorganized on offense and vulnerable on defense.

It's also interesting that Lue is talking about pushing the ball. This is classic new-coach stuff, but it would be a complete change of direction for a Cavs team that is 28th in the NBA in pace and was 25th last season. It is extremely difficult to make significant adjustments in that area in the middle of the season. Let's see if Cleveland actually commits to a different style in the coming weeks.

New coach Tyronn Lue wants the Cavs to pick up the pace.  (USATSI)
New coach Tyronn Lue wants the Cavs to pick up the pace. (USATSI)

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