#PSBSportsChop – Should David Blatt Have Been Fired – January 22, 2016
By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture
The Cleveland Cavaliers fired their coach, David Blatt, on Friday and immediately inked assistant Tyronn Lue to a three-year deal worth a reported 9.5 million dollars. A source close to the situation informed me this time a year ago that Lue taking over was a distinct possibility as Blatt struggled to mesh with LeBron James. The question is should Blatt have been fired? The Cavaliers did make the NBA Finals last year without All-Star Kevin Love while starting point guard Kyrie Irving was banged up all season not playing again after Game One of the Finals.
Blatt was a combined 83 and 40 in his 18 months as the head coach including an Eastern Conference best 30-11 record to date during the 2015-16 season. Record notwithstanding, Blatt never seemed to have the full respect of James and the rest of the Cavaliers. That lack of respect was evident in last year’s Finals as James repeatedly waved off calls from the sideline choosing to go in a different direction from what Blatt was calling. In that way, the vibe reminded me of when Mike Brown was at the helm. The Cavs management has put the franchise in the hands of the King and unlike in Miami, there isn’t a Pat Riley in the front office who can talk to James from a place of “been there, done that.”
As James plays into his prime years, the goal is no longer the NBA Finals. For the 31-year-old, it’s bringing the NBA World Championship back to Cleveland or bust. With that said, the oft-injured Irving suiting up throughout the postseason and whether Love can defend the pick-and-roll will be more critical than who stands up the duration of the game. However, if Lue makes the Cavs core more comfortable down the stretch of the season then there is something to be said for that. Time will tell if Lue can lead this embattled group to the only thing that will make this season a success: LeBron James third NBA Championship.
Keil Moore’s Take: Today might prove that being an NBA General Manager is much safer place to be than being an NBA head coach. Cleveland’s GM, David Griffin, made multiple moves last year that appeared to be in line with building a title team but the league is changing with the Warriors leading the way. By signing multiple seven footers, Griffin’s moves didn’t account for that. They are paying top dollar for a post in Tristan Thompson who is playing 18-20 minutes a game right now. As our team member Jonathan Hemingway likes to point out, there are personnel issues including the fact that the Cavs probably should be playing Lebron at the power forward position a lot more. I’m interested to see how this plays out through June.
Brandon Clay is a contributor to PSBPopCulture.com through his various genre reviews. A self-professed entertainment & music junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.