Last night the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Sacramento Kings, and they got blown out 103-84. Ouch. While it's fun to see Tyrone Corbin get those Ws, the other side of the story -- the one the national media will focus upon -- is the worry in Cleveland right now. Their team is 19-19, and while .500 would have been great for a lotto team (which the Cavs were last season), they made big moves in the summer to pair Kyrie Irving and their young core with LeBron James, Kevin Love, and a number of veterans. They just aren't winning. Injury is part of that, but at the end of the day our legendary coach Jerry Sloan used to say "you can't fire the players...."
David Blatt may not be long for this world, especially not after his recent comments about Kevin Love.
Reporter: "Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love they are two max players, they're here." Blatt responds quickly: "Kevin's not a max player yet."— Blake Ellington (@BlakeEllington) January 12, 2015
(N.B. Love and James can both opt out this summer.)
Howard Beck writes:
"I think Blatt is struggling a bit," said one veteran NBA coach. "The offense is not very imaginative. [Erik Spoelstra] did good job of blending guys, creating ways to get guys isolated. I don't see that right now. They're going through the motions of an offense that isn't clicking."
The coach, who did not want to be named while critiquing a rival, said Blatt's offense relied on "a lot of European stuff that isn't going to work" in the NBA. "It's too simple. I just don't think he hits the right buttons.
"Their talent is taking over and will win some games," the coach said. "But going against elite teams, that's not going to work."
- Howard Beck, of Bleacher Report, 2015 -- VIA Brett Pollakoff, of NBC Sports, 2015
Things are far from ideal for the hopeful NBA Finalists from Lake Eerie, and everyone is talking about Blatt right now. I'm crazy about Blatt. A guy who can take Andrei Kirilenko and a rag-tag bunch to the medal round year after year must be doing something right. I am impressed by his ability to get team defenses to stick to a plan, a play that works. So I'm a little surprised by their DRTG (24th in the NBA), and well, without so many rotation guys (LeBron, Shawn Marion, Iman Shumpert, Anderson Varejao) it only makes sense for them to lose a little - but they've lost five straight now.
Anyway, Phil Naessens had me on his show last week and we TALKED about coaches on the hot seat. I was second up, and you can listen to my part starting at 21:13. Listen over here, or just be lazy and listen below:
- You can hear the wind behind me, Chicago is the windy city
- I felt like this would be a good hire, I still do
- Andrei Kirilenko looked great, LeBron James should have been amazing
- Kevin Love is part of the problem
- The trade is supposed to have helped (J.R. Smith isn't amazing)
- You have to give him until March, at least . . .
- Bottom line: it's not David Blatt's fault (entirely)
- Perhaps they could only land LeBron if they gave him assurances that he'd be the Kobe Bryant player / coach / GM ?
Yikes. Thanks again Phil for having me on the show. This was ridiculously good timing.