The Cavs lost to the Bulls on Saturday night and Cleveland’s new coach Tyronn Lue had some sharp words for his team, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com writes. “I don’t think we’re in good enough shape,” Lue said. “I think early, we wanted to push it, we wanted to open the floor, and I think we came out and did that, and then I think we just dropped off the map. I think we got tired. I just don’t think we’re in good enough shape right now to play in the style that we want to play.”
The team understands the criticism and the players are embracing the first time head coach. “Got to get used to that pace that coach Lue wants us to play at,” Kyrie Irving said. “It’s exciting, it’s an exciting brand of basketball that is tailor-fitted for the players that we have on our team.”
“Yup, we got to get in better shape,” LeBron James added. “Coach wanted to play faster, so we need to start doing stuff on off days, doing stuff at practice, during shootarounds, getting up and down the floor, getting our heart rate going, because he wants to play faster, play with more pace than we’ve done in the past. Try to get up and down the court before the defense is set on us. So we all need to be in better shape.”
Here’s more out of Cleveland:
- J.R. Smith has been cleared of wrongdoing in the alleged choking incident outside of a New York night club back in November, Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group reports. “After a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding this case, we have concluded that the evidence does not support criminal charges against Mr. Smith,” Patrick Muncie, a spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said. Haynes notes that the Cavs believed all along that Smith would be exonerated.
- James shouldn’t be considered a coach killer, Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal opines. While Ridenour admits that the firings of Paul Silas and Mike Brown were decisions that owner Dan Gilbert likely made to appease James, she argues that the coaches that Gilbert has hired in first place have simply been poor choices for the team.