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TGS Blog Posts

The Official That's Game! Sports Blog

Déjà Vu In the ‘Land?

Scripted Visions Publishing Group

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“With the Cavs struggling yet again, could we see another coaching change in Cleveland?”

By Dennis “Crazy Train” Dedrick

It's a new year, but it seems like the Cleveland Cavs are singing the same old, sad song. Imagine being a first-year head coach with no experience coaching in the NBA and in your first season you go 53-29, your team wins the Eastern Conference Championship, but in the end, you fall just short of winning an NBA Title. Most would call this a great inaugural season and would be looking forward to what came next, right?  Now imagine starting the following season with a 30-11 record, not a bad start at all right? Would being fired ever cross your mind? Would you think to yourself  “Man, I’m on the hot seat here”.  I doubt it.  What sane person would think of getting fired in the midst of obvious success?

But guess what?  That’s exactly what happened to David Blatt. Not because of his win/loss record but according to reports, he was fired because he lost the locker room. So with the Cavs struggling again this season, here’s a prediction: we are going to see another coaching change yet again in Cleveland. I guess winning isn’t a cure all.  

Since drama seems to be an annual occurrence with this team, who should take the blame? Is it a coaching problem or player issue?  With the Cleveland Cavaliers this seems to happen every year and every year they feed the public the same excuses: “we need to play better, we need to find our identity, we need to learn to play together, blah, blah, blah...” How often can those excuses be used? And who’s to blame for this ongoing mess?

Well this year it’s Tyronn Lue’s turn to be the fall guy. After just calling out the team about their individual agendas, I’m thinking he’ll be gone by the all-star break. If you call out a team like that, especially with LeBron on it, you might as well sell your house and be prepared to move on.  In his first year after taking over for Blatt, Lue went 27-14 and won an NBA Title. The following year his Cavs went 51-31, won the Eastern Conference, but lost in the finals. Those stats are pretty close to David Blatt’s record.  Now this year the Cavs are 26-15 and are far behind in the race to claim the best record in the East. Ouch. That’s worse than the start of Blatt’s second year when he was fired.  Do you see a pattern?  Coaching or culture of the team, what’s the cause?

That being said, I know who will be the next coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers..  Ready for it? David Fizdale! Can’t argue with this logic at all! Fizdale is a great coach and according to every report I’ve heard, his players love him.  Also, if Cleveland makes the move now they won’t have to compete at the end of the year when there are multiple coaching jobs available. Plus having the opportunity to coach the world’s best player couldn’t possibly hurt in luring Fizdale back to the bench.

But, if Fizdale does decide to take this job, he should only take a deal that allows him to finish out the season and then reassess in the offseason. That way he can see what happens in free agency and if a better coaching opportunity presents itself if LeBron leaves town. Let’s be honest, if LeBron leaves no one will want to coach to the Cavs.

I don’t agree with how Cleveland hires and fires their coaches, not because of record but because of their relationship with the players. It’s hard to coach a team when you know in the back of your mind that if the players want you gone, you will be gone.