The Cleveland Cavaliers‘ 1-7 start has interim head coach Larry Drew contemplating changes to the team’s lineup for Saturday night’s road game against the Charlotte Hornets. In this instance, the focus of any change will be on the reserves, with the team’s starters remaining intact.
I asked LD if he was considering JR tonight and he said he was considering everybody. He said he was looking at changes to the second unit and the starters would be the same
— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) November 3, 2018
One of the continuing issues for the Cavaliers during this slow start has been the team’s struggles during the second quarter. That’s generally the time when reserves are on the court, with the results for the Cavaliers thus far a disaster.
That was clearly evident in Thursday’s home loss, when the Cavs roared out to a 27-15 first-quarter lead over the Denver Nuggets. By halftime, it was the Nuggets who were on top by a score of 50-42, with sloppy play and weak defense being key problems for the Cavaliers, who were outscored 35-15 during the period.
While there’s no indication whether disgruntled guard J.R. Smith will see action, one reserve who will definitely remain in Drew’s rotation is guard Jordan Clarkson. That’s because he’s gotten off to a strong start in his first eight games, averaging 16.1 points and 2.9 rebounds in just 22.5 minutes of action per game. In the Denver defeat, Clarkson delivered a team-high 17 points.
Drew took over head coaching duties last Sunday, following the dismissal of Tyronn Lue. The difficult circumstances of his new role were magnified earlier this week with news that starting power forward Kevin Love is likely to miss another six weeks after having surgery on an injured toe.