They see players appearing to run different plays than the bench calls, see assistant coach Tyronne Lue calling timeouts literally behind Blatt’s back during games, and hear Cavs players openly talking about coaching issues with opposing players and personnel. Not once, not twice, but frequently over the past several months.
For weeks now, the small talk when league personnel run into each other at college games, airports or pregame meals has frequently started with: “What the hell is going on in Cleveland?”
Wow. Just wow. Now we know why Doc Rivers relegated Ty Lue to back row when they were coaching in Boston.
This situation with the coaching staff isn’t going to change unless LeBron James buys in. There wouldn’t be any griping if the greatest player in the game told his teammates to shut-up and run the plays.
As for Kevin Love:
Meanwhile, the Love situation continues to befuddle. In the preseason there was a little bobble when Love complained about not getting the ball as much, but after that he’s said nothing but team-supportive things. That includes Tuesday night after Blatt decided to play James Jonesahead of him.
“If you told me I was going to sit out the fourth quarter, maybe I would have thought it would have been tough. But we had a great rhythm going,” Love said. “I thought the group that we had out there was doing a great job of getting us back into the basketball game, and more than anything, they gave us a shot.”
“I’ve seen Kevin fall down with the ball more times this season than the rest of his career combined because he’s always in positions where he’s uncomfortable and he’s forced into trying to make some sort of move to get a shot, and that has never been his game,” said one veteran NBA coach. “They almost never put him in position to get the ball that he did in his last few years in Minnesota and I can’t figure out why.”
Despite what he’s telling the media, Love is going to opt-out of his contract this summer. It will allow him to make the most money even if he plans to resign with Cleveland. He can also keep one eye on the open market.
It’s getting harder and harder to explain away the mess in Cleveland. We are nearing the halfway point of the season. Oh, and according to Elias, no team below .500 at this stage of a season has ever won an NBA championship.