Pregame Dribbles: Nance Jr. Says No Issue with Cavs Coach Beilein
CLEVELAND -- Random dribbles on the Cavaliers as they get set to take on Orlando Magic (7 p.m., FOX Sports Ohio).
1. In case you missed, a report surfaced earlier about some of the Cavaliers players having an issue with first-time NBA coach John Beilein. I asked power forward Larry Nance Jr. about the report.
2. Nance's response: "Ideally, you'd like to keep those things in house, if there was those issues. But that's today's NBA. ... I've never had an issue with a coach in my career. This one being no different. I wanted to play for him at Michigan to be honest with you."
3. Magic coach Steve Clifford also came to Beilein's defense -- despite not even being asked. "I've known Coach Beilein as long as anyone. He's a wonderful coach. All I know is he will find a way to win. They're developing the roster. There's very little growth without some conflict. ... He's an incredibly knowledgeable guy."
4. Clifford also brought up how the players in the report spoke anonymously, as opposed to going on record, and shook his head.
5. Beilein said, "We were the worst defensive team in the league last year. What do you want us to do, practice less?"
6. As someone who is in the locker room, I can tell you I've never sensed any sort of frustration among the players. It actually as seems as tight-knight as ever as the team goes through the sometimes-rocky process of developing. Then again, I've never asked.
7. More pressing is the fact the Cavs (5-15) have lost 10 of 11. I asked Beilein if they are showing the same grit as they did early in the season. You can read his response in my other post here.
8. The Cavs were blown out by Orlando a little more than a week ago. They will be without Kevin Love (sick) on Friday. Nance will start in his spot. Nance said there is little difference, he prepares the same way. "Other than maybe not getting to stretch on the bench before I check in, there's nothing different," he said, smiling.
9. Nance is having a career year. He is taking more 3-pointers and making them. To be more precise, he has made one in seven straight games and shooting 43 percent from beyond the arc.
10. We'll talk more after the game.