Cavs cutting practice clock to pick up pace

Cavaliers guard George Hill has been sidelined with a shoulder injury since Nov. 5.

The NBA shot clock is 24 seconds everywhere but in Cleveland.

Instead, the Cavaliers are preparing to force the tempo by cutting time on the clock in half at practice.

“We have a 12-second shot clock, which is tough,” Cavs point guard George Hill told reporters at shootaround. “But it does get the pace up and get the ball up the floor. You have to use the pass and not the dribble.”

Coach Tyronn Lue’s emphasis has been to zip around the ball in a new share-the-wealth system. Everybody has to be moving … and shooting. It’s fun for the players and for the fans. If it’s perfected, it should be fun in the win-loss column, too.

The idea is to “enhance our pace and at the same time, get good shots,” Hill said.

And not just good shots — the Cavs want to make sure to take a lot of shots.

“It gives us more opportunities,” Hill said. “We don’t want to be a team that’s taking 60 or 70 shots a game if we can get 90 shots a game.”

All of this is designed to wear down the opponent, to keep the Cavs chugging along while their foes bend over and clutch their shorts while yelling to the sidelines for a cup of Gatorade.

“Just getting used to it is going to take a minute,” Hill admitted. “But our pace is going to get better, we’re going to get in better shape and we’re going to figure it all out.”

Right now, Lue is figuring out who plays this way the best, both individually and as a team.

“It’s been good,” Lue said. “It’s pretty much been open tryouts to see who fits with who, who plays well together, an open competition. The guys are competing, but also trying to help each other get better.”

Bottom line on the early preseason? The Cavs are simply attempting to run and have lots of fun, and seem to be figuring out those two aspects of the game are often one in the same.

“The good teams that do it are in the shape to do it,” Hill said. “We just half to make sure we focus on that. We have to be in great shape to get up and down the floor, and also to play defense at the other end.”

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