I can’t say I’m shocked that the Cleveland Cavaliers fired their coach midway through the season–a season where they only had eleven losses and are almost assured to come out of the Eastern Conference, but I am a bit surprised. I foresaw a panic move after last a loss to the Spurs, and a Warriors beat down on MLK day, but I thought that would involve a trade.
Blatt’s regular season record makes him the coach with the highest winning percentage to ever get canned in the middle of a season. The front office couldn’t even wait until All-Star weekend to quietly make a move. They wanted this guy out immediately.
Don’t get me wrong, I never thought Blatt was the guy for the job. I was shocked to see him return after all the sneak dissing thrown his way last year. So it makes me wonder what changed between June of last year (after they got that ass whupped in the Finals) and Friday.
This move reeks of desperation and dysfunction. It’s just such a “Clevelandish” thing to do. Unless you plan on suiting up Tyronn Lue as a player-coach (something I certainly don’t wanna see, I don’t see how this is going to help the team right now.
Is it David Blatt’s fault that the front office has whiffed on every lottery pick not Kyrie Irving? It isn’t a stretch of the imagination to say that Cleveland could easily throw out a crunch time lineup of Andrew Wiggins, Victor Oladipo, Tristan Thompson, Lebron James, and Kyrie Irving.
The Anthony Bennett pick over Oladipo was a major setback, and I’m not sure Kevin Love isn’t a “good stats,bad team” kind of player (a theory espoused years ago by the great Charley Rosen). The Cavs just don’t have the horses right now to keep up with the Spurs and Warriors. Phil Jackson could be coaching that team and they’d still get beat in the Finals.
As for Blatt, kudos to him for making the best out of a bad situation. He may be getting off lucky. No one should have to coach on a team where the superstar undermines your authority, and the front office won’t give you any support. In all honesty, Blatt seemed a bit overwhelmed anyway.
The good news is that he got the opportunity to get the hell out of Ohio. The best things to come out of that state are Raymond Bradbury, Bone Thugs N’ Harmony, and Ken Griffey Jr. Some sports cities just don’t deserve championships, and Cleveland may be one of those cities.
None of the major franchises there can keep a coach for longer than a season or two, they fire people before they have a chance to get a foothold on the team. That kind of impatience is a recipe for basement dwelling in any sport. But judging from the way the city’s infrastructure is run, this can’t be too surprising. This city is getting exactly what it deserves. I can’t wait to see their crying fans at yet another Finals loss in June. #$%# em!!!
This week’s Slate of Games:
Golden State-San Antonio (Good Ass Game of the Week)
No Timmy D. No problem. But damn it if it doesn’t take a little bit of luster off the matchup. You can’t replace Duncan’s presence on the court, no matter how deep the Spurs frontcourt is right now. I doubt there will be a Boban sighting tonight, but then again you never know. Speaking of Boban–you figure he’d be the first choice if there was ever a Princess Bride redux right?
Geezus those shorts are scary! Alright moving on.
Oklahoma City-New York
Thunder players have 2 nights off in New York before this matchup. That is a lot of time to get into some stuff. Its always fun to watch KD come to New York, but now that the Knicks have Godzingis to complement their decent lineup, the Knickerbockers are suddenly watchable.
Los Angeles Clippers-Indiana
Even without Josh Smith, this team still has too many busters in their locker room. Maybe they should try and trade Lance Stephenson to Brooklyn. that may be the only team crazy enough to take on that contract.
Speaking of crazy, the “Boogie Down Productions” crew in Sactown snuck up in that eigth spot. Cousins has 7 games of 30 plus points, 10 rebounds this month. No one else in the NBA has more than one in January (thanks to my boy Phillip for hippin’ me to that stat).
This battle of Rondo vs. Lillard will be a fun one. I will certainly be all curled up in bed watching this one.
Los Angeles Clippers-Atliens
If you are really jonesing.
As if Houston weren’t busterish enough………that being said, they’ve been winning of late. Who was that one guy who said don’t overreact to the early trend of the East playing better than the West? Some blogger–I hear he moonlights as a teacher or something like that? I hope he doesn’t dislocate his shoulder patting himself on the back for pointing out something so obvious.
Speaking of misplaced self-fellatio, the Mavericks are low-key trending downwards. They have beaten a few decent teams. I think I placed them appropriately as a middle tier team in last month’s power rankings. The bottom may fall out real quick in a couple of years once Dirk retires.
“Tap that Vein” Thursday
The Raptors right now are more entertaining off the court than they are on it.
I think Van Gundy’s boys could push Cleveland to a six game series if they met in the playoffs.
Kemba vs. “Good Ass game” Dame. Lillard is the hottest player this month not named Demarcus.
You will need to take a shower after this game. This is like “Buster Brown All NBA Buster” showcase. If this were a real showcase, it would probably be
Josh Smith, J.R. Smith, Dion Waiters, and Nick Young vs. Austin Rivers, DeAndre Jordan, James Harden, and Evan Turner. They could run 4’s at the Staples Center with pickup ball rules. You wouldn’t be able to give tickets away to this game.
All six of the Spurs losses have been on the road. I could see them dropping tonight’s game and not even starting the major players for this rematch against Cleveland.
Kansas vs. Kentucky 6pm
Allen Fieldhouse will be rocking. People don’t know that John Calipari had a brief stint in Lawrence working for Larry Brown. I hope the score gets up into the upper 80’s. #loweredexpectations
Golden State-New York
Knicks may hang an L on the DUbs this week. By the way, The warriors play the Spurs and Thunder a combined 7 times the rest of the season. I can see them losing 2–maybe even 3 games. It will be difficult getting that 74th win. I don’t even know if its worth it really. If they have to go through Thunder and Spurs on the way to the Finals, then I’d rather my team be well rested. Just a thought.
Could be a fun way to spend bye week Sunday.
Chicago-Los Angeles Clippers
It is hard to write this with a straight face. I don’t even enjoy watching these two teams play– you know what. Don’t do it. THe highlights will be better than the game itself.
As for the Super Bowl, don’t bother watching if you are rooting for a Manning win, or you are a Cam Newton hater. You’re bound for a long evening of disappointment. It is going to be a lot of people mad this year, because Cam gonna dab on fools. That Denver offense will be worth at least 3 turnovers. You may as well watch the Super Bowl from a couple of years ago, because it will be a similar result. But you never know, anything can happen. I wouldn’t put my money on the Broncos though, unless you like giving away money.
Enjoy the games this week. Tonight’s has the potential to be as memorable of a regular season game as you will ever see.