Thursday, October 10, 2013

Observations from Cavs practice

DeAndre Haynes
Assistant Coach

On one of our days off last week, Coach Sendy, Mike McKee and I went up to watch the Cavs practice. Sendy goes every year, but this was my first time going.

Personally, I watched Kyrie Irving and a couple of the new guards they have, just to see how hard they work during practice. I came back and talked to all of the guards about how hard Kyrie was working in practice. It was his leadership on the floor, the way he worked during the drills. He didn’t go through the motions. He sprinted on every cut.

Seeing it personally up close was beneficial because I saw the effort and how hard they were working. I played against Jarrett Jack in high school, and it’s cool just seeing him as a veteran in the NBA and seeing his improvement. I always thought that they’re in the NBA and probably don’t practice hard because they made it, they were going hard in every drill. Our players really have to work had to get to that level, or even to the overseas level.

What I learned overseas, and I learned in my time here too, was how to work hard. You can’t take a play off. You can’t take a drill off. They weren’t just going through the motions. Having played overseas, I know that if you’re not going to work hard, they’re going to bring somebody else in to take your spot. Here, we bring you in for 4 years. Overseas, you have a 1-year deal and if they don’t think you’re working hard, you get fined or you get cut. There’s no taking plays off and understanding that is necessary to understand what it takes to be a champion.

My biggest takeaway was the amount of energy they brought to their practice. They really worked hard and were constantly communicating. One thing that we brought back to our players is that we’re trying to teach them to be vocal. I feel like their coaches didn’t have to say anything to them at all. They were just really loud and in tune to what was going on. When they were doing a defensive drill, you couldn’t even hear anything in the gym because of how vocal they were on the floor.

Mike McKee and I both had our pen and pad so we can take what they do and use it to make our program better. Every drill that they did with the point guards and bigs, I wrote down myself. I like to work with all of our players. I came back that day and worked out Blake with some of the drills that Andrew Bynum was doing. I watched the drills Kyrie Irving was doing and want to work on those things with our point guards.

I was that surprised me was to see that they don’t miss shots. It was amazing. I think Kyrie Irving only missed like 1 shot the entire time we were watching him play. You have to be in the gym and put in the work.

Watching them at that level means a lot to me. I needed to see it for myself because I can do a better job of working with our guys and making sure they know what they have to do to make it. I think that if our guys could have gone up too, they would have taken a lot from it like we did.

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