The Cleveland Cavaliers have lost 10 games in a row and look like a team that has thrown in the towel on the season. Well, not Kyrie Irving, but watch the Cavs play and they have the energy of a three-toed sloth. They got throttled by a Nets team Wednesday that was missing two starters.
Which reflects poorly on coach Byron Scott — this is supposed to about building something in Cleveland and if the young players have tuned him out. Or worse.
“We’re exhausted,” said one player, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the topic. “It goes back to training camp. He killed us in camp. We don’t have any legs left.
“Our shootarounds are an hour and 45 minutes. They’re not physically demanding, but we’re still on our feet all that time. We had a two-hour and 15-minute practice the other day and an hour and a half of that was a hard scrimmage. At this point in the season, that’s crazy.”
Before you say “toughen up” to this guy, remember that Scott’s old school, Pat Riley-inspired style wore out its welcome with Jason Kidd and the New Jersey Nets. Same with the Hornets after six seasons. His style always had some wondering if he was the right long-term call for a rebuilding team on the Cuyahoga River.
Scott often doesn’t call timeouts during rough patches ala Phil Jackson. Which works well with the veteran-heavy teams Jackson coached, but those timeouts are teaching opportunities with younger sides. Also, his rotations have been… interesting.
That said, for three years he has coached a team devoid of much talent in the post-LeBron James era and never complained. He publicly has been a model employee.
But is he the right guy to lead this team back off the bottom of the pile?
Scott is in trouble. How much depends on who you ask but he is in trouble. Scott said Thursday that he’s not going to worry about it (of course, what is he going to say). Via the Associated Press.
“Not really,” he said. “I’ve always had the attitude, `Whatever happens, happens.”‘
Tristan Thompson said the players need to take the blame for the play of late.
“All the rumors about coach Scott and hot seat and all that crap, that’s bogus,” Thompson said following Thursday’s practice. “It’s up to us to come out and compete and play hard because we’re the ones out there. When he was out there playing, he won championships. So it’s up to us to come out there and play.”
After the season this is a job to watch. But if Scott is let go some teams with veteran players looking to take the next step will take a hard look at him for their job. Cleveland just may not be the fit.