As of today, Blatt has been outed as the coach of Cavaliers, this following an onslaught of reports and scrutiny coming out of the Cavs camp from media around the league.
Where did this all go wrong?
Well honestly, I get the feeling that Blatt’s job has been that of a co-coach rather than a head coach. During the season and into the finals of last year, Blatt’s control over the team was often subsided by that of LeBron James, who would at time take over the duties of discussing plays and letting the Cavs know what they “should” be doing instead.
In terms of play calling, this was never more apparent than the famous out of bounds play where Blatt had drawn it up one way, with Dellavedova passing it in, which LeBron changed after breaking the huddle in the timeout.
I’d like to think that LeBron has a good enough basketball IQ to change plays, much like NFL quarterbacks do, however when it comes to taking over during huddles and almost undermining your coaches knowledge, it becomes a whole new issue.
There is a slight unwritten rule in the NBA however, and it is that certain roles within a team are earned by respect and not by resume per say. This “respect” is applied to role players, team leaders and even coaches to name a few and it is recognised by certain players too. In this case, the relationship between a superstar player/s and coach is all about this respect and its been said by historic players and coaches alike. To be able to work together as coach and player is crucial for your teams success and if you look at the Cavs situation this is clearly lacking.
Most will try to draw the conclusion that this is because of the recent losses that the Cavs have endured, however it is much more than that. The Cavaliers are just not playing together at the moment and at this point there is nothing David Blatt could do about that. Does the coaching change this for the Cavs? It will be interesting to see what Tyronn Lue can do with this Cavs team, it is already known that LeBron has been raving and lobbying for Lue since his arrival in Cleveland, so right away the respect is there.
At the end of the day, the discussion of the championship is still not out of the conversation for Cleveland, but it may take more than comradery and players stepping up. In my opinion, A certain player needs to step down from the control he wants to have over this team. Like Kevin Love said post-game after the Golden State loss, it all starts with their leader (Lebron) and in relation to the teams success LeBron should just focus on leading instead of GM’ing and Coaching.