INDEPENDENCE (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott doesn’t hide his superstitions.
That’s why with the Cavaliers riding a 3-game winning streak heading into Tuesday night’s game against Golden State, Scott is trying not to change a thing – including his starting 5.
“Well after 3 straight maybe I’ll stick to that for a little while,” Scott said with a laugh.
Scott joked Monday that he’s not alone in being superstitious and has been trying to stick to the same routine, same lunch and same starting lineup during the recent win streak – the longest for the team since last March.
“Most coaches are superstitious, most players are superstitious, ex players are superstitious,” Scott said. “So yeah, [I’m] superstitious.”
As a result of his decision, rookie Dion Waiters will remain in the starting lineup for the foreseeable future Scott said following practice Monday afternoon.
“As of right now the starting 5 is Kyrie, Dion, Zo, Tristan and Tyler,” Scott said. “They’ve played pretty well together and I think with that starting unit period they’re like 6-4 so as young as they are they’ve still played pretty good.”
C.J. Miles did not play at Toronto despite being available. Scott said Miles needed to get his legs back after missing time due to an illness.
“C.J.’s fine,” Scott said. “Even today in practice after we finished, he was winded and he said that he needed what we did in practice. So that’s what I wanted to do and the reason I kept him out of the last game.
“He’s good to go.”
Scott added that Daniel Gibson, who has a right big toe injury, is “not good to go” and will be evaluated Tuesday. Gibson did not practice and it is unlikely that he will play against the Warriors.
Winning streaks have been scarce for this group of Cavaliers.
They’ve won 2 in a row just once this season and the 3 game win streak is the longest of the season. But Scott is trying to not worry about his young team getting complacent.
“The reason that we’ve won our last 3 games is because of the way our guys have worked in practice,” Scott said. “I’m not worried about us being complacent. I think we understand that we’ve got to come out and play hard every night and that doesn’t guarantee us that it’s going to get us a W. We do know it gives us a chance to win.”
The Cavaliers, who started the season a dismal 5-23, appear to be turning the corner for the first time since the roster gut and rebuild following the departure of LeBron James.
They will try to finish the month of January at .500 Tuesday night with a victory. But the turnaround began a bit earlier than the calender switching to 2013. Cleveland is 6-7 for the month and 8-9 overall since Dec. 22.
“I think it shows that each month we’re getting better as a basketball team,” Scott said. “I’m definitely going to talk to our guys about the opportunity to finish the month out on a high note going into February. That’s something that we haven’t had the chance to do in a long time.”