Tyronn Lue won't coach Cavs differently than Blatt: 'I'd say better'
Tyronn Lue met with the media Saturday for the first time as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he's already started laying the framework on how he'll impact a team that's leading the Eastern Conference and fresh off a NBA Finals appearance.
Lue, who played 11 seasons in the NBA before taking assistant coaching stints with the Celtics and Clippers, acknowledged that former coach David Blatt put the team in a good position, so he isn't necessarily looking do things differently.
"I wouldn't use the term differently because David did a great job," Lue told reporters Saturday morning. "I'd say better."
"We went to the NBA Finals with a hurt roster, missing two of our All-Stars, and [Blatt] was still able to carry this team to the NBA Finals," Lue said. "So my thing is, we just have to do things a little better now, not different."
The Cavaliers went 83-20 during Blatt's tenure, including starting this season 30-11, an improvement upon their 23-18 start in 2014. But three of those 11 losses have come against potential Finals opponents San Antonio and Golden State, the latter of which was a 132-98 shellacking at home to the defending champs.
Lue says that it was that loss that prompted a change within the organization.
"I think the tough times came when we lost to Golden State, the way they beat us," Lue told reporters. "In one game you can lose confidence. It wasn't the way we wanted it to go and we took it hard. It shouldn't be that way."
So starting Saturday night, when the Cavs take on the fourth-place Bulls in Cleveland, Lue will look to bring a team together that, despite their success, hasn't been able to gel as much as they'd like this far into their Big-Three experiment.
"We have to continue to pull together when things get hard and things get tough, we have to continue to pull together." Lue vowed.
And that includes superstar LeBron James as well.
"I talked to 'Bron and I told him, 'I gotta hold you accountable.' " Lue said. " 'It starts with you first, and if I can hold you accountable in front of the team and doing the right things, then the whole team has to fall in place.' "