Despite the recent struggles of his team, Lue has no doubt that Cleveland will be in the playoffs.
Making the playoffs is one thing. Making a deep run into the playoffs is entirely another thing.
Despite the fact that the defending Eastern Conference champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers have found themselves in a series of struggles, there's no doubt in the mind of Coach Tyronn Lue that his team will be making the playoffs. That is despite the miserable fact that the Cavs have dropped 12 of their last 18 games which included a 120-88 humiliating defeat at the hands of Chris Paul and the rest of the Houston Rockets. Mind you, the Cavs played so horribly against the Rockets that it was actually JR Smith who led the Cavs in scoring with 12 points.
Here's the tricky part, folks. The Cavs have a 30-21 record which puts them in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference. While the Cavs are currently trailing the Boston Celtics 7 and a half games for the top seed in their conference, would you actually believe that Cleveland is only 5 games ahead of the Detroit Pistons who are sitting at the number 9 spot? With the Pistons on a 4-game winning streak since acquiring Blake Griffin via a blockbuster trade, some reporters have questioned if the Cavs can indeed, stay competitive enough to make the playoffs.
"There's no doubt about that"
That's exactly what Tyronn Lue said as his team is preparing for their upcoming game against the Orlando Magic. He also added that it's still early to come out with a conclusion that the Cavs will be knocked out of the East's top 8.
However, given the fact that the Cavs are struggling to defend, to say the least, and with Kevin Love out, the doubt surrounding the Cavs' chances won't die out easily especially when you think about how horrible is Isaiah Thomas when playing defense. To begin with, Isaiah Thomas was a great point guard when he was still with the Celtics. Was. Against the Rockets, Thomas also had 12 points but on a 5 for 13 shooting and missed all of his 4 attempts from the three-point line. Their lack of defense was also on full-display against Houston as the Rockets were able to score 30+ points in each of the first three quarters. If the Cavs are to keep on playing shameful defense in the second half of the season, there's a high possibility that the Pistons will make the playoffs and the Cavs will be knocked out.
We should admire Tyronn Lue for being confident that his team will still make the playoffs despite all odds. It's not easy being a coach a super team who is, unfortunately, struggling to defend. Sure, they can continue playing the same ugly defense and still make the playoffs but come playoff time, they need to tighten things up 'cause otherwise, they won't make it past the first round.