The Cleveland Cavaliers were dominated by the Boston Celtics, 118-72, in their third preseason game, and some Cavs players reportedly think the primary reason for the lopsided score was a difference in toughness.
Following Monday’s practice, Cavs head coach John Beilein spoke with reporters about the loss. It was during that time that a reporter said he had spoken to several Cavs players who thought the team was lacking defensive toughness.
Beilein’s response was both honest and blunt.
“I think that was an experience,” Beilien said. “They (Celtics) had a bunch of guys, three of them just got done playing for the world championships. They got other guys that have been in the playoffs, the playoffs, the playoffs. They have difference experience, different veteran stuff to them. We don’t have enough of the guys that have been in big moments.”
There’s no doubt that the Celtics are simply in a different class compared to the Cavs at the moment. With a talented young corps and a couple of veterans with All-Star game appearances, Boston is certainly aiming to be near the top of the Eastern Conference.
As for the Cavs, they are treating every game as an opportunity for their rebuilding unit to grow.
For Beilein, the 2019-20 season is sure to be less about avoiding losses, and more about making sure that his players learn from each game they play in.
The Cavs won’t have to wait long to take another swing at Boston as the the two teams face off on Tuesday for their preseason finales.
The teams will meet for the first time in the regular season on Nov. 5.