Things haven’t gone so well for Byron Scott this year. He took over as head coach of the Cavaliers with no knowledge of whether or not LeBron James was going to return to the team, but he was confident that he could have success whether James stayed or left. LeBron left, of course, and the Cavalier wins never came. After a semi-promising start, the Cavs have won one game since November 27th, and they needed overtime to get that one win.
The Cavs were the worst team in basketball before their recent slew of injuries; having Anderson Varejao, Anthony Parker, Leon Powe, and Daniel Gibson hurt will only make Cleveland’s nightmare season worse. Given that Scott has long been rumored to be a candidate to take over for Phil Jackson as head coach of the Lakers when he retires, one could think that Scott regrets his decision to take the Cleveland job. However, as the Cavs got ready to take on the Lakers on Tuesday night, Scott was adamant that he still believes he made the right decision.
“My decision wasn’t based on what [LeBron James] was going to do, it was based on what I thought we had at that point,” Scott said. “Do I regret that decision? By no means. I tell you, the organization is top of the line. Dan Gilbert is unbelievable. Working with Chris Grant has been unbelievable. It’s like a family here. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of being [in Los Angeles]. I know that we can turn this thing back around, and I like I told Chris the other day, it will make it that much more gratifying. Because we’ve gone through this, we’re going through this. That’s how I look at everything. The glass is half-full as far as I’m concerned. We’re going to be right back up at the top soon.”
Scott’s optimism is probably what the Cavaliers need right now — the Cavs won’t make the playoffs this year, or come close to it, but fortunes can change quickly in the NBA on a year-to-year basis. If the Cavs rebuild with patience, draft well, and get a few lucky breaks, they could make Scott’s optimistic view into a realistic one over the next couple of years. However, getting a win in 2011 would probably benefit the team’s confidence more than any declarations from their coach would — we’ll see when the Cavaliers can pull of that feat.
Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.
Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday’s home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid’s return. Now, that isn’t the case.
Embiid had been the biggest ray of hope for Philadelphia, but the 76ers shouldn’t chase watchability down the stretch. Sit Embiid until he’s fully healthy and secure the best draft position possible.
Maybe Embiid’s body just can’t handle the rigors of NBA basketball, but Philadelphia has no choice but to hope for the best with him and Simmons. And hope the nail the their first-round pick this year and get the Lakers’ first-rounder.
This could still be a dangerously good team in coming years. The Process created that potential.
But the threat of injury always looms around the corner, maybe especially so for Embiid.
Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah likely to miss rest of season after knee surgery
Prepare for the talk next fall about Noah feeling refreshed and ready to help the Knicks.
But this surgery won’t reverse the underlying problem: Noah is a 31-year-old big man with heavy mileage. He can manage his knees, but it’s probably too late for him to regain enough athleticism to reliably contribute.
Just three years and $55 million+ remaining on his contract, which already looked like the NBA’s worst deal and is now even more unfavorable.
Buddy Hield: Vivek Ranadive told me at Kings-Pelicans games, ‘We’re still going to get you’