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The Cleveland Cavaliers are on a six-game losing streak and speculation is again beginning to mount regarding their first-year coach David Blatt.
Blatt faced intense pressure in the media earlier this month with suggestions surfacing that he was failing to get through to the players as their struggles continued.
Cleveland are 19-20 for the season which is still good enough for sixth place in the Eastern Conference, but their problems remain and they look far from a legitimate championship contender this year.
The player turnover has not helped his situation given that JR Smith, Iman Shumpert and Timofey Mozgov have been added to the roster. While they are key players who can play vital roles on the team, the Cavs have struggled to build chemistry on the court and new faces will certainly make it even more difficult in the coming weeks.
“It isn’t just the casinos that are agape at how this is playing out — the Cavs were 4-15 in their past 19 games against the spread coming in to Tuesday — so are league scouts, executives and rival players,” Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported.
“They see players appearing to run different plays than the bench calls, see assistant coach Tyronne Lue calling timeouts literally behind Blatt’s back during games, and hear Cavs players openly talking about coaching issues with opposing players and personnel. Not once, not twice, but frequently over the past several months.”
It may well be merely a matter of time before Blatt sees his first coaching job in the NBA come to a premature end, but it is important to note that not all the issues are his fault.
While you can argue that he is perhaps failing to get his ideas across and is in over his head for his first job in the league, it doesn’t mean he can be blamed for the defense the players play or the lack of support he receives from them.
While general manager David Griffin insisted last week that his job was safe, if the report that he is being bad-mouthed by his own players is true, then he may well have a real problem moving forward.