Tag: LeBron James

David Blatt

NBA on David Blatt’s attempt to call timeout late in Game 4: ‘None of the three officials’ saw him signal for it


LeBron James hit the shot at the buzzer to give the Cavaliers a huge win that evened the series with the Bulls at two games apiece, but if it were up to his head coach, James would never have gotten the chance.

After Derrick Rose scored with 8.4 seconds remaining to tie the score at 84, Blatt walked onto the court and signaled for a timeout. Assistant coach Tyronn Lue practically tackled him to stop this before the referees noticed, because Cleveland was out of timeouts, and the officials could have whistled the Cavaliers for a technical foul had they responded to Blatt’s request.

“I almost blew it,” Blatt admitted postgame. “Good thing my guys caught it.”

The NBA, in its Last Two Minute report, ruled that the referees didn’t see Blatt attempt to make the call.

“Blatt (CLE) attempts to call a timeout when none remain. None of the three officials saw Coach Blatt signal for a timeout,” the report said.


Check out this video (via BBallBreakdown), which may — MAY — indicate that the baseline referee did in fact see Blatt signaling, but shook his head no because he knew the Cavaliers were out of timeouts.

Tough to tell, obviously, and as we’ve seen all season long with these reports, referees are hesitant to intervene in the game’s closing seconds. But there’s at least some doubt whether or not the report’s findings were, in this case, completely conclusive.

Despite injuries to both legs, Kyrie Irving says he will play in Game 5 Tuesday

Chicago Bulls V Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Four

His right foot has bothered him since Game 2 of the Boston series.

Now he has left knee tendonitis, which seems to bother him more than his foot injury.

But Kyrie Irving is not going to sit down.

Irving is not driving as much, not finishing when he does, and has shot 5-of-23 in his last two game. He’s not the same guy, which has put a heavier load on LeBron James. But Irving told Dave McMenamin of ESPN he will play Tuesday in a crucial Game 5 against Chicago, with the series knotted up at 2-2.

“If the consideration is now, then, I mean, I should have been sitting out maybe about four games ago,” Irving said. “I just … I can’t do it. Mentally, I can’t do it. I can’t look myself in the mirror and sit on the bench or sit in the locker room while I watch my teammates go out there.

“I’d rather give 30 percent, 40 percent, rather than give none at all. I just literally can’t do it. I can’t sit on the bench and be hurt and be OK with that. And still, I still know I can be effective. So whether I got to the free throw line eight times [like he did in Game 3, going 8-for-8], which I’m still happy about … My jumper may not be falling or the legs under me, but I’m just going to continue to just go.”

Less Irving means more LeBron having to carry the load and do it himself — he used 42.8 percent of the Cavaliers possessions when he was on the floor and only three of his 10 made baskets came off an assist.  Those kinds of numbers play right into Tom Thibodeau’s defense; it’s designed to stop isolation sets. LeBron hasn’t been efficient this series, and he’s not going to be with the defense focused on him.

Irving needs to give the Cavaliers something. So does J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson, Timofey Mozgov, and others. Chicago’s offense hasn’t been pretty most of the time, but it’s getting up enough points to make this a series (especially thanks to Derrick Rose of late). Cleveland needs to find points that do not just come via LeBron.

The question is can Irving provide that right now?

PBT Extra: How safe is David Blatt as coach of the Cavaliers?

Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat

To suggest that David Blatt’s coaching errors in the playoffs — most recently trying to call a timeout when the Cavaliers were out of them, then having LeBron James overrule him on a final play call — has him coaching himself out of a job suggests he had a tighter grip on that job than he ever really did.

That’s what Julie Donaldson and I discuss in this latest PBT Extra.

Blatt’s status become a topic again after Game 4, and on Monday LeBron tried to play down his comments from Sunday. But the fact is the relationship between Blatt and LeBron has never been tight. And LeBron is the power in the Cleveland organization now — he inherited Blatt, and if he doesn’t want him there after the season there will be changes.

And I expect changes.