The Cavs Have Issues that Go Beyond LeBron's Health
"This narrative of our coaching situation is truly ridiculous.”
That’s what Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin told reporters on Sunday, amidst frenzied speculation in the press about first-year coach David Blatt not getting along too well with LeBron James and Co., and reportedly facing a possible firing if the team doesn’t soon turn it around.
"It's a non-story, it's a non-narrative. Coach Blatt is our coach, he's going to remain our coach. Do not write that as a vote of confidence. He never needed one. It was never a question. So don't write it that way.”
And while Griffin may be right that the issue of Blatt, specifically, is largely a fiction invented by the media to drive readership, there’s really no mistaking the larger, underlying issues in northeast Ohio these days.
Griffin’s address came just before another bad Cavs loss, this one at home to Rajon Rondo and the Dallas Mavericks, 109-90. With starting center Anderson Varejao gone for the year with a torn Achilles tendon, and James sitting at last two weeks with a variety of sore body parts, Cleveland looks even more unseasoned and confused than they did before. Losers of five of their last seven, they look far from the championship contention many had them penciled in for this summer.
Griffin also didn’t beat around the bush about looking to make a trade. Even before Varejao’s injury, they needed depth defensively in the front court. Frequently cited transaction targets for the Cavs include Timofey Mozgov of the Denver Nuggets and Kosta Koufos of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Maybe Griffin’s no-nonsense voice will help set a tone of short-term improvement in Cleveland. But in all greater likelihood, this team needs a few huge things that even the King can’t give them with ease, and that only time can truly bring. They’re seeking a roster replete with health, experience, and continuity. And even if things look ugly now, staying the course and doing the hard work, with Blatt and the rest of this crew, is the Cavs’ best way to get there.
— John Wilmes