Tyronn Lue on Cavaliers’ elaborate handshakes: ‘I wish we could remember some of the defensive schemes that well’

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The Cavaliers’ handshakes are so controversial, they’ve elicited an official statement from the team.

They also sparked an interesting response from Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue.

Lue:

I wish we could remember some of the defensive schemes that well.

Guys come to the side, “My bad. I forgot.” But they remember all this and all that.

This a “joking, but not joking” response.

The Cavs’ defense was a problem all year, and their incredible offensive masked defensive issues against the Pacers. Cleveland allowed fewer points per per possession against the Raptors, but I’d attribute that more to Toronto’s annual postseason offensive collapse than true improvement.

The Cavaliers defending better starts with better positioning and communication, all five players being on the same page in their coverages. It might be too late to develop those habits, but the problem isn’t a simple matter of spending too much time practicing handshakes.