Cleveland Cavaliers’ loss against Philadelphia shows how tough their challenge is in next month: Chris Fedor

CLEVELAND, Ohio — On the final possession of the first quarter, Jeff Green and Larry Nance Jr. both had a look of confusion before bumping into each other while trying to set up a double screen for Jordan Clarkson around the 3-point line. By the time they corrected the set it was already too late. Clarkson dribbled into traffic with the clock winding down and lost the ball. The Cavs didn’t even get a shot off.

That play is a microcosm of the challenge they’re trying to overcome after blowing up half their roster at the trade deadline.

Even though the moves were necessary, trying to integrate four key rotation players while figuring out working lineups and other combinations in the middle of the season is not easy. Toss in a game every other night, little practice time and newbies learning fresh plays and it all adds up to the Cleveland Cavaliers losing three of five games since the All-Star break.

“Just right now offensively we’re just playing in thought too much,” Head coach Tyronn Lue admitted following the 108-97 loss. “It’s not fair to those guys that, you know, maybe we should slow down offensively. Adding I think is just too much for the guys right now. Just trying to think and play, it’s too hard. It’s a fine balance.

“You have to

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