The Cleveland Cavaliers have a one-game lead over the Toronto Raptors for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and according to head coach Tyronn Lue, the team’s priority is getting into the postseason with a completely healthy roster.
Lue says having homecourt advantage until the NBA Finals is important, but health trumps all.
The first-year coach takes blame for the Cavs’ defensive woes.
Per ESPN and the NEOMG:
“We definitely want the No. 1 seed if we can get it, but I think we have to rest our guys also,” Lue said after the team’s shootaround Monday morning. “I think health going into the playoffs is more important than the seeding. If we’re fortunate enough to get the No. 1 seed, it will be great for us. But if not, then we just got to play through it. […] I think all championship teams have to win on the road anyway. So, [the No. 1 seed is] important to us, but also being healthy going into the playoffs is more important.”
Lue’s new approach also jibes with LeBron James’ mentality when it comes to seeding. […] Late last season, after former coach David Blatt said the Cavs “got to” finish with the No. 2 spot in the East, James disagreed with the directive, saying “I never play for seeding. I just play … Just get me in the playoffs.”
Without getting too technical, as the Cavs have tried to play faster and smaller offensively, they’ve tried (and failed) to bring their guards further out on the perimeter to defend the pick-and-roll than in the past. The results have been breakdowns in the middle of the defense and on the backside, where shooters are getting wide-open looks. […] “I take full blame for that,” Lue said. “We’re trying to do some different things and now we just got to get back to the basics and get back to our foundation.”