INDEPENDENCE (92.3 The Fan) – With thew Cavaliers in a January deep freeze, a shakeup seems to be exactly what the team needs.
Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, who has resisted making any changes, finally caved Thursday when he announced that he’s moved Tristan Thompson back to the starting five.
“It’s not a good time right now,” Lue said. “Just see how this works first and go from there.”
Thompson will replace Jae Crowder and play center. Kevin Love will move back to power forward, which Lue hopes will help their ability to post more offensively as well as in the pick-and-roll.
“Jae has been playing good the last few games and it has nothing to do with Jae,” Lue said. “He’s been great. He’s all about the right things. He’s all about the team. You hate to make these changes. Not saying it’s permanent, but he’s about the team. Went and talked to him this morning and he said, ‘Whatever is best for the team. I’m all in.’ It was a great talk with him.”
Cavs forward LeBron James shrugged off the change made by Lue as “not a big deal to me.”
It has been another tumultuous week for the three-time defending conference champions after a team meeting on Monday resulted in finger-pointing and some questioning thew validity of Kevin Love’s illness that forced him from Saturday’s 24-point blowout at home that saw them give up 148 points to Oklahoma City.
Thompson addressed the reports of clashing personalities within the team and why whether or not they are friends off the floor shouldn’t matter.
“You go to work everyday and you might not like a guy, you might not like the guy you work with. It’s part of life but when you’re between these lines you gotta play for each other and that’s all that matters,” Thompson said. “I don’t care if X don’t like X off the court. I really don’t give a s—. As long as you’re on the court playing hard and playing for each other, that’s all that matters to me. We don’t got to talk to each other off the court. As long as we talk on the court that’s all that matters to me.”
James is used to the drama surrounding his team and he didn’t seem to concerned about it.
“We’ll be fine,” James said. “We’ve got to work our habits though. It’s not going to be as easy as we’d all like it to be. But at the end of the day, nothing has ever come easy to me, so I actually like what we are. I don’t like losing, I don’t like the way we’ve been losing. But I think it’s going to help us out in the long run.”
The Cavs have lost 11 of 15 since Dec. 19 and will host Indiana Friday night. The Pacers look to sweep the season series from Cleveland with a victory.