The Cleveland Cavaliers and head coach Larry Drew are searching for answers, and injuries have forced them into playing a bit. Given that, let’s take a glance at some possibilities for them to try in the coming weeks.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are not going to be a team that’s going to be able to stick to one style of lineup. What we do know, for the time being at least, is they are going to be embracing the trial-and-error method. Head coach Larry Drew has often expressed how this Cleveland squad is going to try to be one that’s focused on making adjustments, and trying to consistently keep opponents off-balance. Given that philosophy (which has to be the case by default, really), the Cavaliers should use this stretch of games to experiment with lineups.
Kevin Love is going to be out for a while still due to a reported toe injury, Sam Dekker is reportedly out for 2-4 weeks with an ankle injury (per Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor) and George Hill is reportedly out for 1-2 weeks, per Cavs’ Twitter. In addition, Cedi Osman is dealing with back spasms, and was ruled out for tonight’s game against the Chicago Bulls by Drew, (h/t Fedor). With those injuries, Cleveland needs to be proactive and mix things up, and I expect Drew to do just that.
The Cavaliers do not have the talent (even with those players being healthy) to not shuffle lineups frequently. With Hill being out, though, the whole Collin Sexton–Jordan Clarkson pairing issues should be less of a problem, with Sexton playing with the starters more. Along with that, Cleveland should be utilizing new two-way addition Andrew Harrison (as was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski) as a backup point guard for considerable minutes.
The first lineup I’d like to see Cleveland utilize is of the uber-playmaking variety.