Breaking news just struck of Cleveland Cavaliers Head Coach David Blatt being fired. From what I can observe from the articles and updates thus far, there is no truth out as to why the second year head coach was terminated. However, we can make our own assumptions; and I have two for you to hear.
Assumption number one: LeBron James made the call. Basketball is not like football where the head coach really does have total control over the team, and the media recognizes the coach as one of the main faces of the franchise. Outside of Pop and Doc Rivers, coaches in the NBA are not given their credit, nor do I feel they completely deserve it. Basketball is a very different game than football. Is there strategy and coaching philosophies that can determine an outcome of a game? Sure. But more often than not, basketball is about instincts, its pickup basketball in the courtyard where you run a basic zone on defense and spread the perimeter on offense. Basketball in Cleveland is more than not what I like to call “LeBron ball”. Now do not get me wrong, I love LBJ with all my heart and without him this city would not be even close to contention in the eastern conference. However, LeBron controls this team, he controls the tempo of the game speed, hell I’d bet he calls the plays half the time. David Blatt was merely here to fill a coaching roll that was already filled by his star player in LeBron James. Numerous reports have come out in Blatt’s time here in Cleveland that LeBron and him did not exactly see eye to eye. Perhaps another dispute broke out between the two. Perhaps LeBron does not think that Blatt is the right man for the job. Point is, if LeBron wanted Blatt out, it is a very really possibility that David Griffin and owner Dan Gilbert obeyed his wishes.
Assumption number two: Dan Gilbert is getting nervous. The Cavaliers, now back with their full starting five are not… playing up to par to state it nicely. Now although they are currently on a two game win streak taking down Brooklyn and LA, Cavaliers fans are still trying to erase the memory of what happened a few nights prior. Golden State embarrassed the Cavaliers on their home court with a 34 point victory. Granted the Cavs are currently sitting atop the Eastern Conference, but when facing the top two teams in the league (San Antonio & Golden State) they have not stood a chance. Regardless if the Cavs cruise through the Eastern Conference, they will have to square off with one of these powerhouses in the finals. And if they play the way they have been it will be a quick 4 games and out. With all this being said, I think Dan Gilbert and David Griffin have recognized that this team is not ready to beat the top tier of basketball right now. After hearing numerous trade rumors about Moz and Kevin Love, perhaps they decided to go a different route. Maybe instead of depleting roster spots they would terminate the still new to American basketball Blatt. Let’s not forget that assistant Tyrann Lue is very close with several plays on the team including King James. Griffin and Gilbert could have been waiting for the right moment to let Lue slide into the head coaching slot. And this debacle against the Warriors could have been it.
Am I upset that Blatt is gone? Not really, let’s be honest the guy hasn’t really manifested the best positive image here in Cleveland. Like I stated previously, Blatt never ran the show, LeBron did. Perhaps a change of coaching with Lue taking over is just what the Cavs need to burst them through the rest of the season to avoid any more embarrassments to the top tiers of basketball.