Latest posts by Don McCormack (see all)
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Kyle Korver has seen this movie before, so he’s not about to overreact to what he and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers are going through.
Three wins in their last dozen games, including a 148-124 pasting at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder in front of a national-television audience Saturday, have the Cavaliers standing at 27-18 headed into a game at San Antonio on Tuesday night.
In his 15th season, Korver is definitely cognizant of what’s going on. When the Cavaliers acquired him from the Atlanta Hawks last January, Cleveland promptly lost six of its next nine games.
“This is kind of just my experience with this team, to be honest,” Korver said at practice Sunday at Cleveland Clinic Courts in Independence. “The year that I’ve been here, we’ve been really good and we’ve been really bad.
“It seems to come in waves, so hopefully, there’s a good wave coming soon.”
While many outside of the Cavaliers’ inner circle are pointing a finger at coach Tyronn Lue, Korver joined the list of players expressing support for their leader Sunday.
“Ty’s in a tough spot, he really is,” Korver said. “I think he really cares about the spirit of our team and trying to keep guys positive and keep guys rolling in the same direction.
“I think there’s always speculation any time the team is not winning every game. ‘Change the lineup’ and this and that. But you’ve seen that go bad, too, when coaches start jerking guys in and out of the lineup and it’s a blame game.”
Korver pointed out if Lue makes lineup changes — starters J.R. Smith and Jae Crowder and backup big man Tristan Thompson — have received a lot of heat from the fan base of late — is a delicate balance for a coach.
“If you’re the person that got jerked out of the lineup, you feel like it’s your fault.,” Korver said. “If you change the lineup and it works, that’s one thing.
“Change the lineup and it doesn’t work, that’s another thing, so no one thinks about the lineups more than Ty does, and it’s a tough job.”
With the oldest roster in the NBA, Korver said it’s on him and his teammates to get up off the canvas and get back to playing well and winning games.
“I think it’s just getting back to playing as one unit,” he said. “Like, playing as a team. No matter what our schemes are, no matter what’s going on, we’ve got to trust each other at both ends of the floor. It’s a very general thing to say, but there’s a lot of truth to it.
“There’s definitely problems on both sides of the court right now. I think playing together, playing with effort and energy is probably a common theme on both sides right now.”
As far as more accountability being needed, something Cavaliers Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade both said is necessary after the blowout loss Saturday to OKC, Korver said it all starts from within.
“At the end of the day, you’ve just got to look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘What can I do better?’ You can’t point the finger, you can’t get mad at a guy for not doing what you thought he should’ve done. You can’t, just can’t point fingers.
“You’ve got to look yourself in the mirror and say, ‘Wow, can I help the team?’ It’s really simple but it really is true. … I think this is just what grownups do.
“We’re all… this is a veteran team. We’re all grownups. When you’re a mature grown up, you just look yourself in the mirror.”