It’s been two months since Cavaliers fired David Blatt, so it might be a good time for a short comparison and ask a few questions.
- First, are Ty Lue Cavs Better? – No.
- Are they a happier team? – No.
- Do they have higher chances winning the title? – I doubt.
- Did Dan Gilbert make the right decision by firing Blatt? – Definitely.
Now, let’s get into the details.
1. The Cavs where 30-11 under Blatt. With Lue they stand on 14-7. This comparison doesn’t do justice to Blatt. First, he achieved 73% without two of his starters, Kyrie and Shumpert, and let’s not forget the start of the season when Love came from ingury and TT missed the pre season due to his contract issues.
It’s true that Blatt’s Cavs were beaten by their main title contenders, Spurs and Warriors, but these games took place before the team could adjust to Kyrie and Shumps return. The 132-98 loss to Warriors is an exception and probably was the last straw. However, I’m pretty sure that Cavs would keep or improve their winning % if Blatt kept his position.
2. Cavs front office and the media mentioned frequently that the mood in the locker room was the main reason behind Blatt’s dismissal.
During the first month with Lue as the head coach it was the 70s all over again. In every interview we heard how happy and united the team is, committed to the mutual goal. A month later, we get mysterious tweets from LBJ, rumours about Kyrie not happy and more. Just seeing LeBron’s face after the recent loss to Memphis is enough.
It’s ok to know you’ve made a mistake. Cause we all do at times. Just be ready to live with whatever that comes with it and be with…..
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 1, 2016
3. Blatt might not have NBA experience, but he has 20 years of playoff experience which he proved last playoffs. A “rookie” coach out-coached the Brad Stevens, former NBA Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau and 2015 Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer. Yes, there was that stupid timeout fiasco, but I doubt it would happen again.
So if the experience was the problem, or the lack of it – here comes Ty Lue. He was an NBA player and assistant coach, but he has exactly zero experience at the leading roll. On the other hand, maybe with LeBron you don’t need a coach (we are cynical).
4. So after all that, why we say that Dan Gilbert made the right choice? Simple.
Imagine the scenario that the Cavs don’t win the title with David Blatt. All LeBron’s media will point fingers on the owners for wasting 2 years of the best player in NBA with an unqualified coach.
Hiring Lue is Gilbert’s insurance policy. If they win – great. If they loose – he did all a man can do or should we say, did everything LeBron asked him to do.
LeBron has the ball now. If they win – he will be Cleveland’s favorite son. If they loose – there is only one person to blame.