The Cavaliers had internal discussions about firing coach David Blatt, reports Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal, but refused to give into demands by LeBron James. When GM David Griffin sniped at the media recently regarding Blatt rumors, Lloyd said he was sending a message to players that Blatt will remain the coach and they need to commit to him. The team seems re-energized by back-to-back wins in Los Angeles, but James still hasn’t offered much public praise for his embattled coach.
There’s more from Cleveland:
- Connecting with James is key to Blatt’s long-term future in Cleveland, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Blatt has let his superstar dictate the terms of the relationship, refusing to clash with him in public or in private, while hoping his vision of winning eventually settles in with James and the team. “He’s got his own opinions and he expresses them,” Blatt said of James. “At times, he can be stubborn. But what I know from him, what he wants from me, is a vehicle to help him win. And beyond that, nothing else is really important.”
- Blatt’s persistence may finally be paying off, contends Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. The Cavs’ offense had one of its best games of the sesaon Friday against the Clippers, displaying ball movement and productive sets in a 126-121 victory. It’s a sign that players may be warming up to their coach. “We weren’t great offensively in Miami our first year either,” said Mike Miller. “Just because his philosophies aren’t showing up on the stat sheets right now doesn’t mean they’re not genius. I still think they’re really good.”
- Someone who shouldn’t have to worry about his long-term future in Cleveland is newly acquired center Timofey Mozgov, according to Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders. The Cavaliers have been pleased with Mozgov’s performance since sending two protected first round picks to Denver to acquire him in a January 7th trade. Mozgov said he was happy with the Nuggets, but welcomes the challenge of changing teams. “Now it’s a new story, a new page, a new part of my life,” he said. “It’s another team. I’m happy to be here playing [with] guys like Kyrie [Irving], LeBron and Kevin Love.”