Cavaliers: Second half of season will be Larry Drew’s most important act

Cleveland Cavaliers Larry Drew (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers Larry Drew (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers are currently riding a two-game winning streak out of the All-Star Break. It’s a good start to possibly the most important half of basketball Larry Drew will ever coach as an NBA head coach.

The Cleveland Cavaliers threw Larry Drew into the fire very quickly this season. After the team started 0-6 with Tyronn Lue at the helm, the organization decided things weren’t working out as they’d like.

Of course, the team was without Kevin Love for three of those contests and was working on living life without LeBron James on the roster.

Nonetheless, the move was made to fire Lue and promote Drew to head coach.

It hasn’t been close to easy coaching this Wine and Gold squad this season. There’s been a ton of issues that Drew and the Cleveland coaching staff has had to work through.

A rotating wheel of players and injuries have really tested Drew’s coaching skills.

He may not want to be included in the Cavaliers’ long-term coaching search this offseason but he has a very important stretch of basketball to coach in this second half. It honestly may be the most important run of Drew’s coaching career.

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This is technically Drew’s fifth season as an NBA head coach (per Basketball Reference), previously spending time with the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks. But Drew had just one losing record in those four seasons.

You could argue that the Bucks’ 2013-14 season in which they went 15-67 was a crucial time for the organization. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton were still beginning their NBA careers and Drew undoubtedly played a part in helping them adjust to the pro-level.

Guiding younger players is what he’s been known for throughout his tenure as a head coach and Milwaukee needed that with two of their future top players.

But that means his work with the Cleveland Cavaliers comes at an even more important time.

While the Bucks were experiencing a lot of change on their roster with some guys that simply were placeholders, Cleveland has done an intriguing job of making sure most of their roster is at a young age.

Collin Sexton, Cedi Osman, Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson, and Marquese Chriss are just a few names that could be a part of the foreseeable future so it’s obviously going to be vital to the franchise’s success to groom them as much as they can be groomed.

That’s where Drew comes in.

The word “perfect” doesn’t exactly come to mind when thinking about the 2018-19 Cleveland Cavaliers’ season. But it is a perfect pairing between a teach-first kind of coach in Drew and such a youthful roster.

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Winning games isn’t on the top of the to-do list this year and that gives Drew some room to teach. If he wants to put his name in the hat of coaching candidates, he very well could receive a chance to move along in stride with this group.

Even if he doesn’t, this “second half” of basketball is super important for the franchise. And he understands that.