The Cleveland Cavaliers are the first NBA team to have a fully functioning War Room.
We got to be honest here.
The Cavaliers are on a roll right now.
They’re in the top half of the league in offensive efficiency, the best offensive rebounding percentage in the NBA and they have an offensive rating of 110.4.
But there’s one area where they’ve got some glaring flaws: Their defense.
Last season, they were the only team to rank in the bottom half of their league in defensive efficiency, with the defense of the team that lost the NBA title to the Miami Heat.
That was a mistake.
The Cavs are now one of only three teams in the league to rank last in defensive rating, but they’re not just a one-trick pony.
They have one of the best defensive teams in basketball.
It’s hard to see the Cavs defense as anything but the best in the sport.
The problem is, they have some issues.
One, their defensive rebounding has been dreadful for the first three months of the season.
Since the All-Star break, the Cavaliers have the worst rebounding differential in the entire NBA.
And yet, they’ve scored the third-most points per 100 possessions in the history of the NBA.
Two, their shooting is not up to par.
They’ve been outscored by an average of 27 points per game over the last five games.
And three, they’re playing without Kyrie Irving.
Irving has been sidelined with a torn ACL since March 15.
The team has said that Irving’s injury is the result of a hit by a teammate, but it hasn’t been confirmed.
If you think that’s an exaggeration, you should have watched the Cavaliers’ Game 5 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday.
This is what happened when Irving was on the floor: Irving was injured in the first quarter, and the Cavs had a seven-point lead.
But they couldn’t find a way to score in the second half.
Irving missed six of the next seven shots, and by the end of the third quarter, he was on his own.
He couldn’t get back on the court.
After a timeout, Kyrie walked onto the court to talk to the team.
It was a good moment, but he didn’t return.
He walked back into the game, walked up the court, and didn’t get off the floor.
The next time he returned, he played only eight minutes.
After the game the Cavs called a timeout and put Irving back on.
It wasn’t an easy call, but Cleveland’s coaching staff made it so that Irving would be available for every game this season.
The reason for the team’s struggles on defense has been their poor defensive rebooting.
The last five seasons, the NBA’s second-worst defensive rebounded percentage is .8 percent.
The Cleveland team that’s currently in the middle of the pack is tied for 13th with the Philadelphia 76ers, who are No. 1 in the conference in rebounding.
The difference in their rebounding numbers is not in defense, but in how much space they take away from opposing scorers.
They lead the league with 554.6 defensive rebounds per 100 minutes.
That’s the fifth-worst rebounding average in the NFL.
They also rank second-to-last in offensive rebounded margin, which is the amount of offensive rebounds they get back in transition.
That leaves them with a -20.7 offensive rebound margin.
That is, the Cavs are giving up 1.2 offensive rebounds per possession, which would be second-most in the NHL behind the Los Angeles Kings.
Their offensive rebotation is so poor that the Cavs’ offensive reburying average is a whopping -5.8 offensive rebounts per 100.
That puts them just two spots behind the New Jersey Devils in the offensive rebration margin, and only the Philadelphia Flyers and Minnesota Wild have higher offensive rebordings.
The league average offensive rebossession margin is a league-worst 7.1.
When you combine that with the Cavaliers having the fifth best defensive rebossession percentage in basketball, you have a team that is allowing opponents to score at an average rate of nearly 16 points per possession.
That translates to a team who is shooting nearly 30 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range.
That isn’t good enough to win.
The first step to fixing this problem is fixing the offense.
The way the Cavs attack the game is to have three guards that can attack off the dribble.
If LeBron James and Kevin Love are playing at their best, the offensive end of this team can attack and score at the same time.
The second step is figuring out a way for the other guards to score.
That starts with creating spacing for their players.
The NBA has a new set of rules designed to make the spacing between the perimeter and the two wings more fluid.
The new rule requires that the perimeter guard and the shooting guard must be within five feet of