Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, master of scoops, reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers have fired the team’s head coach David Blatt after one and a half seasons. Assistant coach Tyron Lue, a favorite of the players, will take over the team.
Blatt’s firing has seemingly been on the table since the beginning of his first season, even when the Cavs were playing well, which they are at the moment. (Getting drubbed at home by the Warriors earlier this week was an exception.) Despite his solid international credentials, he never really implemented a recognizable scheme on offense or defense—instead, James mostly returned to his pre-Miami preference of running the high pick ‘n’ roll on nearly every possession. His relationship with James and the team’s other stars often seemed strained at best—it was always clear that the Cavs were James’s team, not Blatt’s.
Still, this is a pretty shocking decision, especially given that the Cavs are in first place in the Eastern Conference and have been playing their best basketball of the season for most of the past month. The biggest question about Blatt’s firing is why now? I expect more will come out that answers that question very soon.
LeBron James is expected to continue his role as de facto player-coach.