Cavs can Blatt, sign Lue to multi-year deal
Published on Friday, 1/22/16, at 4:18 p.m. Eastern.
Just days after getting trounced at home by Golden St., Cleveland decided to fire second-year head coach Dave Blatt on Friday afternoon. Tyronn Lue has been named his permanent replacement and has signed a multi-year deal.
The Cavaliers are 30-11 and No. 1 in the Eastern Conference, but this move doesn’t come as a surprise at all. If anything, it was puzzling that Blatt was brought back this season.
He had an 83-40 record with the Cavs, losing to Golden St. in the NBA Finals last year.
But this is a coach who was clearly in over his head.
Trailing Chicago 2-1 in the Eastern Conference finals last year, Blatt attempted to call a timeout Cleveland didn’t have after Derrick Rose made a tying basket with 9.4 seconds remaining in Game 4. Fortunately for the Cavs, Lue was there to yank Blatt off the court before he made one of the biggest knucklehead coaching decision in NBA Playoffs history.
Moments later during a timeout with the Cavs prepping for a play from the baseline with 1.5 seconds remaining, Blatt inexplicably drew up a set with LeBron James to throw the inbounds pass. What?!
James overruled his coach in the huddle, calling for him to get the ball. What happened next? Well, of course, James caught the inbounds feed and drained a game-winning jumper at the buzzer.
The 56-year-old Blatt was a curious hire from the start (to say the least). He had zero NBA experience as a player or a coach. Blatt had played and coached overseas since the early 1980s.
Lue, who is 38, played his college ball at Nebraska. He was a tenacious defender who was able to stick around on an NBA roster for more than a decade with seven different teams.