Yesterday, an ESPN report claimed that the Cavs’ locker room is unhappy with head coach David Blatt, even going so far as to report that assistant coach Tyronn Lue, who is much closer with LeBron James than Blatt is, is calling timeouts behind Blatt’s back.
Blatt has some things to say about that, via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s Chris Haynes:
“That’s a lot of nonsense and I think it’s kind of cheap, to be honest with you,” Blatt said before his team took the floor for shootaround on the campus of UCLA.
Blatt said that it’s impossible for Lue to stop play.
“If you know Ty, he’s a very vocal and active guy. An assistant coach can’t call a timeout in an NBA game, if you didn’t know that,” he said. “Now if he sees something, feels something and yells something out to alert me what he thinks, I don’t have a problem with that. I listen to what I think I need to listen to and what I don’t think I need to listen to.”
Blatt also downplayed the Cavs’ recent turmoil, which has included a six-game losing streak:
“Things are fine,” he said. “Things are great amongst our staff. In the locker room, things are great. We just need to get out there and win basketball games and get everyone on the same page.”
That’s obviously what anybody would say in Blatt’s position. Talk of his being fired has been present practically since the start of the season — if he admitted things aren’t going as planned, that would only add fuel to the fire. But it’s obvious to anyone that this Cavs team is nowhere near where they need to be. They may get there by the playoffs, but there’s a lot of work to be done.
The Cavs play the Lakers at Staples Center on TNT tonight. If they lose that game, things could get interesting quickly.