Byron Scott is most definitely his own man. He said he learned very early in the coaching profession to do it his way, because that way you don’t have to second guess yourself if you lose your job.
If things don’t turn around soon for the Cleveland Cavaliers, he may once again experience what that feels like.
The wine and gold lost their 10th straight game last night to the Brooklyn Nets in an embarrassing effort at home, getting beat by 18 points. The game wasn’t really that close as the Cavs outscored the Nets by nine points in the fourth quarter.
It is true that Scott’s team has been affected by injuries, as Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters have missed most of the last ten contests, and others will remind you than Anderson Varejao has been out as well for most of the season.
Still, that doesn’t excuse the seeming boredom the team plays with, and it doesn’t excuse the pathetic defense the team has played the three years in which Scott has guided the team.
And regardless how many injuries the team has suffered, it doesn’t mean they can’t play hard and smart, especially on the defensive end. Most nights, the Cavs are horrible on that end of the floor.
That is not to say the coach doesn’t preach defense, and his past coaching gigs suggest he can teach NBA defense. However, for whatever reason, the message isn’t getting through to the players. The same mistakes are made night after night.
The coach says he is working on it, but the errors keep occurring. At some point, the coaching staff has to take the blame. There seems to be no repercussions for not playing hard and not correcting mistakes. Even though the wine and gold is lacking in talent, there has to be accountability when things aren’t done correctly.
A recent report from Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal has surfaced indicates that there is dissension among the players, with guys complaining about tough practices. This certainly can be written off as losing games breeds unhappiness, particularly among the ones getting no minutes.
If the players don’t want to be worked hard, they should play better. It’s simply easier to blame the coach.
However, as the old saying goes, it’s easier to replace one coach than fifteen players.
Another thing in Scott’s minus column has been blown leads. They have wasted two leads of over 25 or more points this season, one early in the year against Phoenix and the other against Miami. Add in a recent collapse against Boston at home, and you can see why people are unhappy.
No one is saying the Cavaliers should be a playoff team, they certainly don’t have that kind of talent. But they did go 10-9 in a recent stretch, and played very competitively in January and February. Now they are getting blown out against teams like New Orleans and a Philadelphia team that is struggling mightily. The latter loss was at home.
The 10 straight losses have been by an average of 13.5 points.
The Cavs have eight games remaining in the season. Although some fans are happy with the losses, because it means a better position in the draft lottery, the reality is this draft isn’t that good.
These final games have even more meaning. Byron Scott is likely coaching for his continued employment in Cleveland.