The Cleveland Cavaliers committed a season-high 25 turnovers against the Orlando Magic Wednesday night, many of which were traveling calls.
After the 116-104 loss to the Magic, Cavs head coach John Beilein expressed his frustration at the high volume of whistles directed at his team.
“The walk is the most frustrating thing,” Beilein said. “It’s not even a judgment thing, it’s a thing you’ve been doing for years and now you can’t do it anymore and that’s what really gets me frustrated.
“I am going to look at every one, I am going to slow it down because sometimes the guy moves his foot ‘that much’ and they’re calling it a walk. And that’s really not fair. It’s like every time a guy touches him it’s got to be a foul. It’s not fair. So we have to continue to work at it and get aligned with the officials and get on the same page there. I’m sure they will do a great job with it.”
Referees have made traveling violations a point of emphasis this season due to the missed travel calls in previous years. But they appear to be calling the violation much too often and that has resulted in exasperation for some players and coaches, Beilein included.
“[Beilein] told cleveland.com late Wednesday that he has spent hours studying the travel call, both when he was in college and since he’s come to the NBA,” wrote Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor. “He believes he knows its legality as well, if not better, than anyone who carries a whistle. Beilein even joked that many of his career technical fouls have come in response to arguing that specific call.”
His understanding of the rule likely makes it all the more frustrating for the Cavs coach. He also made sure that his players were instructed about it.
Ultimately, it’s clear that Beilein thinks the crackdown on traveling has been much too harsh as it has affected players’ footwork.
“I don’t have an answer for you,” Beilein said. “We might not have walked for two weeks and now all of a sudden we are walking. So I don’t know if we’re doing it, or the emphasis changed, but we’ve got to correct it. It’s one thing if we are throwing the ball away, but not getting the shot at the basket because of a walk right now, I’ve got to figure it out because you can’t win with that.”
Rookie guard Darius Garland was called for three travels versus the Magic. That’s nearly half of the Cavs’ seven traveling violations in the game. Meanwhile, their opponent was whistled for walking only once.
Knowing how much of a perfectionist Beilein is, it’s likely that he and the Cavs will be working to correct their footwork in the coming days.
“I have already told our development guys, that’s priority number one,” Beilein said. “Every day before practice, catching it on two and using one primary pivot foot, slowing down and cleaning that stuff up. With the opportunities that we have in practice, get back to training camp mode on fundamentals again.”
Hopefully, with the Cavs working hard to avoid traveling, the wins will come more often than they have the past few weeks.