The 2016 NBA Finals will be remembered as one of the best the modern NBA has ever seen. The Cleveland Cavaliers became the first team to complete a 3-1 comeback in the NBA Finals and won the first NBA championship ever for the city against the juggernaut Golden State Warriors, who were 73-9 in the regular season and just completed a 3-1 comeback of their own in the Western Conference Finals.
The Cavaliers were not pegged by many to overcome that deficit, but the team felt differently. Head coach Tyronn Lue had a plan to help the team get over the mental hurdles that were impacting their performance.
Lue decided to not review the film of the game when the Cavaliers were losing and was more focused on helping them build a positive mindset so that they can have fun on the court. He spoke about this on the 'Knuckleheads' podcast.
“When we lost games, I would never show film. Why would I not show film? The first two games we got beat by like 30 and 28. I don’t want them to see that. That’s demoralizing.
Lue also elaborated on the unconventional tactics he used to get the team's morale up, including a half-court shootout to have fun even when the team was staring down the barrel of a 3-1 deficit.
“So when I come in, we shoot half-court shots, we do stuff that’s fun. And we finally won that one game. And I would go back and show like from Game 1 and 2 what we needed to do better, we got to take away this. We lost Game 4, I didn’t show film. We shot half-court shots.”
It's safe to say that these strategies worked, as the team was motivated till the final minute of the series and walked out as NBA Champions.