Celebrating a great night of NBA action, Kurt listed all winners in last night’s winners-and-losers posts. But if we were going to include a loser, the biggest – quite literally – was Cleveland, which lost by 29 points to the Hawks.
The Cavaliers coach David Blatt, via Joe Vardon of Northeast Ohio Media Group:
“I don’t want to get up and walk out of here, that’s not fair to you people, but I don’t have too, too much to say,” Blatt said. “But I will say this. That was embarrassing how we played. I apologize to all the good fans who came out here, as they always do. Really just a poor, poor performance.”
That’s a fair assessment, I guess. LeBron James didn’t agree with it, though.
when James was asked if he was “embarrassed” by the 29-point shellacking he and his teammates had just endured, he shot back “nah, I’m embarrassed losing the Finals.”
This loss to Atlanta only tied the 10th-worst loss of LeBron’s career. The other 10:
- Cavaliers by 36 points to Wizards in 2008-09 (playoffs)
- Heat by 36 points to Spurs in 2012-13 (playoffs)
- Cavaliers by 35 points to Pistons in 2007-08
- Cavaliers by 32 points to Celtics in 2009-10 (playoffs)
- Cavaliers by 31 points to Mavericks in 2004-05
- Cavaliers by 31 points to Nets in 2004-05
- Cavaliers by 30 points to Nuggets in 2007-08
- Heat by 30 points to Spurs in 2010-11
- Cavaliers by 29 points to Magic in 2005-06
- Cavaliers by 29 points to Magic in 2008-09
Both those 36-point losses actually came in series LeBron’s team won. He has perspective Blatt, a rookie NBA coach, does not.
Who’s right? Both can be. Embarrassed is an internal state of mind, and people can react differently to the same situation.
LeBron has had more visible shortcomings than a blowout on a Wednesday night in December. I’m not sure Blatt has.
As LeBron and Blatt try to get on the same page, it’s important to remember they come from different backgrounds, and it can take time for them to understand each other. As they go through lows like this – and highs of a recent winning streak – they’ll begin to relate better.
Right now, though, this is just another sign of how far they have to go.