All firing Byron Scott would do now is send the false message to Cavaliers fans that the organization was actually trying to win games in 2012-13 with the roster assembled.
This is what I reminded myself as Twitter erupted with cries for Scott's job last night following an uninspired loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
Winning this year specifically, however, was never the primary objective during this phase of the process.
Kyrie Irving was supposed to get better this season. Tristan Thompson was expected to develop as well and we were going to find out what we had with Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller.
I resigned myself to these simple truths before the season ever began. The wins I was willing to accept as a welcomed diversion to losing while the Cavs tanked their way to another lottery.
The last tank-filled season of draft positioning that we’d hopefully endure as fans for the next decade.
Kyrie Irving has emerged as an All-Star in 2013. Tristan Thompson has out-performed the expectations that most had for him. Dion Waiters has averaged 14 points and earned rookie of the month honors for his progress made through February.
This much is enough for me in year two of the Kyrie Irving Era.
I do realize the collective product is increasingly terrible and I know the Cavaliers are the worst defensive unit in the NBA at the moment. I also listened to a pregame press conference spent discussing aspects of a spider zone that eventually helped Brooklyn shoot 70-percent in the first half last night too.
So there is no way I blame any Cavs fan who is actually still paying attention at this point and believes that the coach should be fired for the product they are being forced to watch.
I actually left the Q with six minutes remaining myself because the pain I felt in my eyes was so fierce I feared the possibility of future blindness.
In saying as much, though, the Cavaliers are still best served by allowing themselves to find out what Scott’s capable of doing when equipped with a reputable NBA roster and an organizational goal of winning basketball games.
He has not coached in that environment since arriving in Cleveland.
Phil Jackson could’ve assembled a staff that included John Wooden and Red Auerbach and not coached this Cavaliers roster into the 2013 playoffs. Not without Anderson Varejao for 50-plus games and Kyrie Irving for as much time as he’s missed.
Not without an NBA-caliber bench to support their young core that the Cavaliers didn’t stumble upon until after probing the Memphis Grizzlies with Jon Leuer’s contract in an attempt to acquire future draft picks.
The same Jon Leuer that was also once acquired to provide NBA-caliber depth off the Cavaliers bench for Kyrie Irving and company.
But while winning this year has never been part of the rebuild, winning next year is.
If the Cavaliers look like this one month into the 2013-14 campaign, I’ll gladly join the let’s-run-him-out-of-town-parade. In the meantime, though, we've endured too much losing over the last three years for all that suffering to be in vain.
Scott has helped point guards like Chris Paul develop into Hall of Famers. I want to see what he can do with his continued development of our guy.
I want to see if he can turn out the defensive effort he has during his tenures with the New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets after the Cavaliers employ a collection of players who are interested in defending.
We haven’t actually determined that yet.
Next season will include a different set of marching orders with a different set of goals. Let's find out what this team looks like then with the continuity that a healthy lineup of improving players provides.
Until then, just let this season die peacefully and prepare for the draft.
I define coaching as bringing out the best in what you have, as I said previously I don't see Scott as that type of a coach. Scott has had his most success, by taking over talented teams, with multiple stars, but UNDERACHIEVING. That was the case in New Jersey, as well as New Orleans. Scott was also fired in both places, for what most considered, underachieving himself. Can we please also stop with the Scott being a PG Guru? He had Jason Kidd (NJ), Chris Paul (NO), and now Kyrie Irving (CLE) who by most, were considered the best PG's in their draft class. That doesn't make him a guru, it makes him fortunate. Makes as much sense as labeling Phil Jackson a SG Guru, for having Michael Jordan (CHI), and Kobe Bryant (LAL)
In regards to Phil Jackson, since you mentioned him. Jackson would NEVER coach the Cavaliers, or take over a situation anything close to this. Jackson isn't a coach, he's a manager. He manages talent, attitudes, and egos, he has incredible coaches under him who actually coach. Phil Jackson walked away from the Lakers after getting swept from the playoffs. He didn't return, because he felt he could no longer compete, and win with the team as it was currently assembled. Mike Brown, was able to do in 1 season that Jackson couldn't accomplish in 7, and without the benefit of a training camp, and that was transforming Bynum into an All-NBA Center, who actually defended with a purpose. Once the Lakers acquired Dwight Howard, Jackson all of a sudden had an interest in returning as coach (manager)
I thought Scott deserved 3 years, at the 3rd quarter point last season, I had emotionally seen enough. I said Scott would be given 100 more games. I had to see enough progress during year 3, to warrant there being a year 4. I haven't seen it. As I try to be more fair than possible, I'd be willing to give him the 1st quarter of next season. Another draft in the lottery, available CAP space to make an addition capable of providing an IMMEDIATE impact. With that being said, a plan to make a change, needs to be firmly in place, there will not be an interim coach from the staff, picking up where Scott left off, with arms firmly crossed in place.
Anderson Varejao is not a core piece on this team, is not an All-Star, not a shot down defender, and far from a difference maker, He was never a factor in the playoffs when the Cavaliers were actually among the NBA's elite. He's an overpaid role-player, who for the last 3 seasons, can't manage to stay on the court. He should have been moved as part of the post Lebron transfo
Whether or not Scott finds success, isn't as important as the clock Irving is now on. When selected #1 overall 2 years ago, he was THE franchise player to carry the renewed hope of city. he's the anti LeBron. he isn't LeBron, he will never have the impact LeBron had on the court here, or off. He just isn't that TYPE of player. No question he's a talent, and destined for stardom, LeBron is greatness, and that's another universe. The same arguments made for irving (lack of talent around him) were made for LeBron, the only difference being. LeBron won.
This draft, and off-season are vital, on many different levels, a crossroads so to speak. This team is currently no better than 12th-13th in the Eastern Conference, nowhere near to even COMPETING for the playoffs. They almost HAVE to accomplish that fete next season. If the Cavaliers, fail to make the post-season. prior to the last option the Cavaliers hold on Irving, why would he even consider re-signing here? What sense would that make? Out of loyalty?
The Cavaliers will more than likely have 4-6 lottery picks on the roster over the next 2 years. All will have to have a decision made on them moving forward. Who do you extend, who do you move, and would any be considered a max deal type player? I don't consider every lottery pick, or #1 overall pick, a max player. Max players TRANSFORM franchises. There are franchise players, and best players on particular franchises, there is a difference.
If Scott is relieved of his duties at the 1st quarter mark of next season, the only explanation needed, will be why he was allowed to remain that long in the first place.
The message to fans, and the objective of the organization, should ALWAYS be to win games. Wasn't it the primary objective of owner Dan Gilbert, when LeBron elected to take his talents to South Beach? What firing Scott would accomplish, more so than anything, is the regaining the trust of the fans in having faith in the organization.
Let's be honest for a moment. the only reason Scott was even hired in the first place, was with the hope of getting the attention of LeBron, after he checked out on the city, at seasons end. Someone through him, allegedly mentioned LeBron wanted to play for a former player, someone who played in the league, has won in the league. Every move made, every poor decision exercised, was with him in mind. Then to not have a contingency plan in place, does nothing more than reflect poor leadership.
While I can appreciate Byron Scott as a person, and a coach, he was not the right coach for this particular situation. Byron Scott isn't the type of coach, IMO suited for a rebuild. Personally, I think the Cavaliers should have retained Mike Brown (the most successful coach in franchise history) It's not that I'm impartial to Brown, but I think with what he went through, what he gave the organization, he earned an opportunity to lead his team post LeBron.
While Scott deserved a pass in year one, the organization not having a plan in place, not draft picks, handcuffed in free agency, so blowing it up, was THEIR only alternative. Most were quick to point out that Scott always made significant process in year 2? Which year 2, post LeBron, or Kyrie, or in the lottery? Either way, I'm still waiting. It's unacceptable to to accept tanking, in any regards. This isn't tanking, this just isn't a very good team, not well put together, not well coached, and not well managed. These are players Scott wanted, 3 top 4 picks in the past 2 years, where's the progress?
Mike Brown was fired 5 games into the season, with a completely revamped bench, key additions Howard and Nash, slow to recover, and ailing. While Mike Brown was being fired, Scott had an option picked up, what sense did that make? What has he shown, to warrant it? How can your primary means of turning around the franchise depend on the lottery? Especially when you use such selections on projects?
I expected Irving to get better, I never questioned his work ethic. What's impressed me most, is his shot selection has improved, he's driving the ball more, thus getting to the line more. He's scoring more, but he's shooting more, so shouldn't that be expected? He doesn't defend well, in fact Scott has even been critical of his defense, on occasion this season. On the flip side, he can't seem to stay healthy, missing extended time this year, and last. As the PG, leader of this team, who has he elevated, or made better?
I never bought into the whole genre of LeBron making everyone around him better when he was here, the team just experienced more success. LeBron was able to win. Being named in All-Star isn't all that impressive, I mean seriously, its for entertainment purposes only. Starters are voted on by the fans, more so out of popularity, than anything else. When Irving gets around to being named All-NBA, then I'll be impressed. I like the way Thompson is progressing, while his production is a bit distorted, his effort, energy, and ambition, has been full throttle.
@joegotti thx Joe!
@Susie_B_ thx Susie
@BowersCLE Is it your belief that a clearer offensive and defensive picture arrives next year when the good players do?
@WFNYBen thanks Ben
@TH_Da_06er yeah I think those things come w/ an improving roster that is able to play together over course of year
@BowersCLE But where does the concept of incremental progress come in? In my mind, that type of progress ESP on defense is important.
@TH_Da_06er it is important, I agree. Just not sure measuring progress of group we saw last night,for example, directly relates to next year