There is quite a bit of discontent within the Cleveland Cavaliers organization right now.
Players seem to be pointing their fingers primarily at Cavs head coach John Beilein, but rookie Kevin Porter Jr. looked inward at the Cavs’ roster following their 110-88 loss to the Boston Celtics on Monday.
“I feel like we keep ball-watching,” Porter said. “As a team we literally have to get back on defense to stop them from scoring.”
It might be a simple message, but that doesn’t mean it’s not wholly accurate. Right now, the Cavs hold the second-worst defensive rating in the NBA. Currently, they sit right outside the top 10 in terms of opponent points per game, giving up an average of 113.0 points per outing.
That formula is no way to win, especially for a team that has very little offensive identity right now.
As for Porter, it’s good to see that the former first-round draft pick is at least trying to take a role of leadership for the Cavs. Coming into the NBA, one of the biggest concerns regarding Porter was his lack of maturity.
As a freshman at University of Southern California last season, Porter was projected to be a lottery pick. He was ultimately excused from the team due to personal conduct issues, which partially led to his fall to the bottom of the round.
So far in his NBA career, none of those issues have arisen. He has also proven to be a valuable member of the Cavs’ potential-filled young core. Thus far, he is averaging 7.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.
He is starting to log more playing time, however, and he has reached double-digit point totals in two of his last four games.
Hopefully, the rookie can grab the attention of his fellow teammates. Better defense likely wouldn’t turn the whole season around for the Cavs, but it would certainly make them more competitive.