Issue is whether or not players are reacting on the court to Blatt’s instructions…
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According to league sources, there is a growing level of worry within the Cleveland Cavaliers organisation regarding whether or not David Blatt can coach the team.
Sources told ESPN that there is growing concern in team circles about the level of response that Blatt is receiving on the floor from his players, with Blatt himself downhearted after the heavy loss to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.
The embarrassing defeat ended with the Cavs home crowd booing the team at the end of the game as they slip to 18-12 for the season due to their inconsistency.
Cleveland would naturally prefer not to be forced into making a decision on a new coach just 30 games into the season but they are aware that things have changed over the course of the last few months.
Blatt had no previous experience in the NBA but he was hugely successful during a long career in Europe and so there should be no question marks regarding his knowledge of the game.
However, he is struggling to get better energy and intensity from his players particularly on the defensive end, and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has shown previously that he isn’t adverse to making changes at the coaching level and he will have noticed Blatt’s lack of authority during team-talks this season.
Cleveland appeared to have figured their issues out as an eight-game winning streak took them to 13-7, but they are just 5-5 over the past 10 games and they now rank 27th in the league in defensive efficiency, 28th in field goal percentage defense and 26th in 3-point percentage defense.
Nevertheless, it is also worth noting that Blatt has now lost the services of Anderson Varejao for the season as the Cavs were already short of a big man presence to protect the rim.
Point guard Kyrie Irving has also missed games through injury, and so the initial focus may well be on recovering injured stars and looking to the trade and free agency market to bolster the frontcourt.