David Griffin Has Concerns About Defense and Rim Protection

David Griffin Has Concerns About Defense and Rim Protection


Despite expressing concerns about the Cleveland Cavaliers defense, team general manager David Griffin said yesterday in a Fox Sports Radio interview that the team will continue to search for defenders who can help the team in its quest to win their first NBA title this coming season.

Griffin said, “ I have concerns relative to our ability to protect the rim, and that’s not just a Kevin (Love) question.” He also added that Love has “been really open about the fact that he’s bringing a focus to that end of the floor that maybe he didn’t do before.”

The team currently has limited money available  to bring in additional talent before passing the luxury tax threshold, primarily due to the acquisition of Love and LeBron James.

Toward that end, Cleveland earlier this week was reportedly trying to work a deal with the Denver Nuggets to acquire 7-1 backup center Timofey Mozgov. The team had previously been mentioned as a possible destination for veteran free agent Emeka Okafor, who sat out last season due to injury while a member of the Phoenix Suns.

The basis for such concern is that over the past year, there have been the number of publicly-stated criticisms that Love focused too much on his offensive game, and that his defense was substandard.

The most recent attack came from Love’s former boss, Minnesota Timberwolves’ owner Glen Taylor, who said on Monday, “I think where maybe he got away with some stuff, not playing defense on our team, I’m not sure how that’s going to work in Cleveland.”

Those comments were taken with a grain of salt by many, and compared to Dan Gilbert’s infamous comments from four years ago, following the departure of  James to Miami. However, last March, then-New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler ignited a mini-controversy by saying essentially the same thing during a halftime interview.

The issue of adding additional salary is likely not an issue with Gilbert, who showed no reluctance during the first James era toward paying a luxury tax. Given the addition of so many seasoned veterans to the Cavalier roster, it’s likely that urgency will win out over economics if such a decision needs to be made.




Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavs Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavs Nation in the months ahead.

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