Now that it has been about two months since Cavaliers’ GM David Griffin decided to make a change in the coaching ranks, the results haven’t been earth shattering.
Nor have they brought instant success, because their record the day Blatt was canned was 30-11, and since then they have gone just 20-9.
More so, Griffin talked about how there was no team happiness when they won games, that the Cavs needed to bring joy and togetherness to the locker room, and more “kumbaya” stuff, we guess.
Instead, if you listen to different media reports, now you have players pointing fingers at one another, mostly about selfish play and lackluster efforts.
Not to mention a virtual collapse on the defensive end of the floor, led by new assistant coach Mike Longabardi, hired from the perennial great on that end of the floor Phoenix Suns.
To be fair, Griffin’s move was a tremendous gamble, he did what he felt was right for his team. On the other hand, he’s got to be very nervous right about now.
We said at the time that making such a move made a championship the only alternative to justify the firing.
Lue was said to be a man who would hold the players more accountable, but really, has anyone seen any evidence of that?
He and Griffin wanted the wine and gold to play at a faster pace, and their points per game average has gone up, but it seems that is at the expense of effort at the defensive end of the floor, which on some night’s has resembled a colander.
It is possible to be a good defensive team and push the tempo, and all you have to do is look at the defending champions to see an example.
Also, we aren’t convinced that the faster pace would work in a possible rematch with the Warriors if it comes to that this June.
We all witnessed (pun intended) San Antonio’s win over Golden State on Saturday night and yes, the Spurs did play very good defense, but they also played the game at their pace, which the Cavs did in winning games two and three of The Finals last summer.
We believe that if you try to play up tempo against the champs, you play into their hands. They do it better than you, and they will wear you out.
For all of the talk about the locker room culture, the Cleveland locker room doesn’t seem very happy.
JR Smith called out his team after a terrible Sunday afternoon performance against Washington.
And according to Plain Dealer beat writer, Chris Haynes, there wasn’t joy amongst the team after Kyrie Irving’s 33 points, 1 assist outing in a win over Dallas a week ago.
Also, we would bet some teammates are irritated with LeBron James and his smiling conversation with Dwyane Wade at halftime of a game in which the wine and gold were having their collective heads handed to them.
So, it doesn’t seem like Griffin’s move has galvanized the locker room. And it doesn’t seem like the team has responded to the coaching change by playing better.
If the Cavs don’t get back to The Finals, Griffin will be the man that has to answer questions as to why they “took a step back”.
That’s why he should be a little nervous right about now.