MIAMI: Byron Scott said after Saturday's loss to the Atlanta Hawks that the Cavs hadn't hit rock bottom, but they were well on their way.
By the end of practice today he was much more upbeat.
Scott put the Cavs through a rigorous defensive practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts before the team flew to Miami for another meeting with LeBron James and the Miami Heat on Tuesday. He ripped Kyrie Irving's defensive performance over the weekend, but said Irving came back in Monday's practice with his best defensive showing of the season.
Daniel Gibson also returned to practice following the death of an extended family member and Christian Eyenga was recalled from the club's D-League affiliate in Canton. Tristan Thompson received treatment on his sprained left ankle, but did not practice and will be a game-time decision Tuesday night. Otherwise, Scott isn't planning any lineup changes based on consecutive losses by a combined 66 points.
"We have two bad games and everybody wants to panic and make all these changes," he said, adding that the Cavs would make the playoffs if the season ended today. "It's not all that bad."
Scott wants his players to return to the intensity level they had through the first 13 games and believes that will solve a lot of their problems. As for facing James again, a lot of the frenzy from last season is gone.
"It's definitely a big game for us because of what's happened the last two games," Gibson said. "We're planning to get it back on track."