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In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the category “Byron Scott”

Stop the coaching carousel, we want to get off

byron-scottjpg-5d00c21bc3fffdd8The Cleveland Cavaliers made the speculation that has surrounded the team for the past few weeks reality on Thursday, firing head coach Byron Scott.

Scott was “released” from his duties in Cleveland (the team’s word) after compiling a record of 64-166 and successfully guiding the team into the NBA lottery for three consecutive years.

In other words, Scott did what he was ostensibly hired to do.

Just since September, every pro team in town has fired its manager or head coach, leaving current Tribe manager Terry Francona, who was managing his 14th game with the Tribe on Thursday night, as the most-tenured manager or coach of Cleveland’s three sports team.

Whatever. We’re too tired and we just want to get off the coaching carousel for a while.

For the full story, head over to The Cleveland Fan.

(Photo by The Plain Dealer)

Where does Byron Scott rank among Cavs coaches?

alg-byron-scott-sidelines-jpgThis week will bring an end to the 2012-13 NBA season for the Cleveland Cavaliers and, for the third consecutive season, the Cavs will be sitting at home when the playoffs begin.

Much has been made over the past few weeks about the future of Cavs coach Byron Scott, who carries a record of 64-164 as he closes out his third year as coach, making him the longest-tenured coach of a Cleveland sports team. It’s not so much the losing – after all, the Cavs have openly been in rebuilding mode almost from the day Scott took the job – but the historic nature of the losing.

From blowing 20-plus point leads numerous times – including Tuesday night’s in Indiana, when the Cavs became just the second team in the shot-clock era to lose a game that they led by more than 20 points with less than nine minutes to play – to an ongoing lack of attention to defense, many are wondering if Scott will be back for a fourth season when the Cavs return this fall.

All the talk about Scott’s coaching future made us start to wonder just where Scott ranks among Cavs coaches throughout the years. We started following sports in the mid-1970s, so we’ve actually seen every head coach that’s ever led the Cavs onto the hardwood.

The Cavs have had 12 full-time coaches since entering the NBA in the fall of 1970 (we’re not counting interims, so sorry Don Delaney, Keith Smart, Brendan Malone, among others. And really sorry, Chuck Daly). While Scott is not the best coach the Cavs have ever employed, he’s certainly not the worst.

To find out just where Scott ranks, head over to The Cleveland Fan.

Cavs racking up historic losses under coach Byron Scott


There are a lot of things that are out of the control of a head coach, which is a lesson that Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott knows all to well.

You can’t hold it against Scott that LeBron James left in free agency just a short time after Scott took over the job.

Or that center Anderson Varejao missed 51 games in 2011 with a torn ligament in his foot, 41 games last year after breaking his wrist or 57 games this year with a longitudinal split of a muscle between his quadriceps and knee.

Or that point guard Kyrie Irving missed 15 games last season, broke his hand over the summer and has missed 20 games (and counting) so far this season.

Or that Dion Waiters has missed the past week with loose cartilage in his knee that may require arthroscopic surgery.

Or that when he looks at his bench he sees Omri Casspi and Luke Walton staring back at him.

Even taking all those factors into consideration, we can’t help but still feel we need to ask an important question:

Is Scott the right man for the job?

Read more…

Zeller’s injury takes a bit off the Waiters, Irving dynamic

Bad news for the Cleveland Cavaliers and rookie center Tyler Zeller, who will be out for a while after suffering a concussion and fractured cheekbone during Monday night’s win versus the L.A. Clippers.

Zeller was hit with a wayward elbow from the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan with 5:39 left in the game. X-rays revealed a non-displaced fracture of his left orbital cheekbone and Zeller returned to Cleveland to be evaluated further, according to a team press release. He will have to get clearance from a league doctor before he can start playing again as the Cavs are following the NBA’s concussion protocol process.

Read more…

Could Byron Scott be one and done?

It’s just speculation at this point, but could Byron Scott leave the Cavs after only one season as coach?

According to Marc Stein at ESPN, writing in Saturday’s Weekend Dime, it’s a possibility, depending on if Phil Jackson decides to retire as Lakers coach after this season:

The persistent word out of Lakerland is that Phil Jackson, at 65, is serious when he says that this will be his last season coaching Kobe Bryant. Far trickier is figuring out who sits at the front of the line to replace him.

Veteran assistant Brian Shaw is the only member of Jackson’s staff in the mix, but Shaw (who appeared to be a front runner last summer for the Cavs job), according to one team insider, might have “a better shot than anybody else” purely because of proximity. Rumbles also persist that Lakers alumnus Byron Scott has an out in his contract with Cleveland should the opportunity to come home and coach L.A. arise, but Scott and the Cavs have steadfastly denied it.

Again, this is all just speculation on Stein’s part, but if Scott does have an out clause in his contract and he did use it to take the Lakers job, we’d really have to start questioning how Dan Gilbert is running the team.

After firing the most-successful coach in franchise history, and then flirting with certain disaster by courting Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, Gilbert finally hired a veteran coach in Scott.

But why give Scott an option to get out of his contract? Was he such a must have coach that the Cavs had to give him the out, especially knowing the Jackson is closer to the end of his coaching career than the beginning?

Gilbert gets a bit of a free ride in this town because he bought the team just as LeBron was maturing and he’s willing to spend money, albeit in a sport with the smallest roster size of the three major sports.

People will always criticize the Dolans because they won’t have a $200 million payroll with the Indians, and Randy Lerner because he doesn’t sit behind a desk in Berea every day.

But what if it turns out Gilbert is really the one we should be worried about?

(h/t to Waiting for Next Year)


It’s probably a good thing the Cavs have only 14 games left in the season, especially after a knife-wielding man had to be subdued by police at the Staples Center because Cleveland’s game with the L.A. Clippers.

No confirmation on whether the man was a season-ticket holder just looking to get his money back.


We already knew Lonnie Chisenhall was not going to be the Indians Opening Day third baseman. Now it turns out Jason Donald won’t be either.

Turns out what the Tribe thought was a bone bruise is actually a cracked bone at the base of Donald’s left middle finger.

“It’s disappointing, but I’m looking at it as just a bump in the road,” Donald told The Plain Dealer. “I want to get the hand healthy and strong for the season.”

Manager Manny Acta said Jack Hannahan, Luis Valbuena and Jayson Nix are candidates for the third base job. The Indians don’t think prospect Cord Phelps, who is still in camp, is ready. Adam Everett is being viewed as a utility infielder, not an every day starter.

Indian fever, baby. Catch it!


It’s probably a good thing the Browns don’t let fans bring flares into Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Of course, seeing Hines Ward lit up like this does have it’s charms.

Have the Cavs quit on the season?

We knew it was going to be a long year for the Cavaliers as the team goes through the beginning stages of the rebuilding process.

And we know because of injuries and trades the team has been forced to give significant minutes to several players who may not be ready yet (or ever).

But that doesn’t excuse the team’s continued lack of effort on the court.

“I’m really starting to question what type of heart we have as a basketball team,” coach Byron Scott told The Plain Dealer following Sunday’s loss to Oklahoma City. “If you are a competitor, no matter what the situation is, no matter what the year has brought, you’re going to come in and compete every single night. We haven’t done that the last two games. That’s my biggest question: Do we have enough guys in that locker room right now that have heart and some other things to go out there and play the way they’re supposed to play?”

That’s not good, especially since Scott has been preaching that message since the start of the season. And if the players start falling into bad habits now, it will take that much longer to break them out of those habits when this team is ready to start winning again.

Is the team just playing out the string with 17 games left in the season?

“I’m hoping they’re not thinking that way because we’re not thinking that way,” Scott said. “We’ve got to come in every day and try to figure out a way to keep these guys motivated and keep these guys working. I’m hoping they’re not all looking at the schedule and going, ‘OK, April 13, the season’s over and we can take a deep breath and enjoy our summer.’ I don’t necessarily put that past a bunch of the guys on the team right now, but I hope that’s not the case.”

Hopefully Daniel “Boobie” Gibson is right when he says the team still cares.

“I think they really care about winning and playing the right way,” Gibson told The PD. “It’s a matter of when you want to play the right way, you have to know how to play the right way. We have a lot of young guys, and it takes time. It takes time to learn what it takes to play at this level. I think sometimes it might come off that way [lacking heart], but I think guys on this team really care.”


Looks like we’ll have to wait a while longer for the Lonnie Chisenhall era to begin at Progressive Field.

Chisenhall was among seven players the Indians sent back to the minor-league camp on Tuesday, ending the third baseman of the future’s attempt to have the future start now.

“Lonnie has had a very good camp, but he has some development to do,” Tribe general manager Chris Antonetti told The Beacon Journal. “He needs to be a little more consistent against left-handed pitchers and do a better job of knowing the strike zone. Defensively, he is still learning the nuances of third base after being a shortstop.”

That’s probably true, but we can’t help shake the feeling that delaying the start of Chisenhall’s service time on the Major League level played a large part in the decision.

”That definitely is not the case,” Antonetti told The Beacon Journal. “We meet at the end of every season and talk about each of our guys. Every person thought that Lonnie had further development to do. If he was that far advanced, he would already have been to Triple-A.”

Whether it played a role or not, it’s evident that under the current reality of baseball’s payroll discrepancies questions about service time are going to be a part of the Tribe’s decision-making process.

It would be great if the team could make decisions based only on baseball, but that’s not our Tribe in 2011.


Good luck to the University of Akron, who will take on Notre Dame in their opening game of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.

The Zips lucked out as they could have been scheduled to play the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday. Now they catch the Irish on Friday, when the Notre Dame players may be a step slow from being meat-deprived because it’s Lent.

As for Kent State, they will open up NIT play Tuesday night at St. Mary’s.

Great Scott! Byron’s the Man

The Cavs have reportedly filled their coaching vacancy, agreeing with Byron Scott on a four-year contract.

Did they make the right call? Can Scott lead them to a championship? Will his hiring impact LeBron’s decision? Let’s try and figure it out.

What do we think?

Scott is the Cavs third choice for head coach, after Tom Izzo and Brian Shaw. Izzo thankfully turned down Dan Gilbert’s bouquets to stay at Michigan State, while Shaw appears content to wait out Phil Jackson in LA and take over the Lakers, probably after next year.

LeBron James reportedly wanted a head coach with NBA experience, both as a coach and a player. Scott fills the bill in both categories.

Scott is hardly known for pushing his teams too hard, usually preferring a bit of time on the links to an extra round of practice on the court.

Scott has been around superstars both as a player and a coach, so he shouldn’t have a problem dealing with LeBron if the need arises.

Scott may have gotten a raw deal in New Orleans.

What do we know?

Scott took the Nets of all teams to the NBA finals twice, losing both times. The Nets lost to the Lakers and the Spurs, which is certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

He won only eight playoff games total over the next six seasons he was a head coach (all eight coming in New Orleans).

Scott was fired in both his previous spots after the team turned against him. Players will like him, but he’ll eventually be tuned out. He won’t develop the younger ones — the younger ones who will be a challenge to develop, the type of development that separates good coaches from great coaches. He’ll clash with some players, he’ll refuse to play others and he’ll be let go after a while.

Chris Paul liked playing for Scott in New Orleans. “Anybody who knows me knows that Coach is my guy,” Paul said at the time of Scott’s firing in New Orleans. “It’s not just because of basketball stuff. I understand that it’s a business and all that stuff, but I’m honestly not the player I am today without Coach. I don’t have the Olympic gold medal and All-Star Games without Coach.”

Scott went through rebuilding efforts in both NJ and New Orleans, so in the highly unlikely chance that LeBron leaves and the Cavs have to start over, he’s experienced.

Scott stresses defense and prefers an up-tempo offense, demanding full control over choosing his assistants. His teams reflect his personality — scrappy and tough, not just physically but mentally.

Scott has a losing record as a coach, albeit he’s only three games under .500.

What does it mean?

With the hiring of Scott, the Cavs have brought in an experienced head coach that gives the team credibility with LeBron and other free agents. The learning curve that would have been required with Izzo or Shaw no longer exists.

Hiring Scott may have torpedoed the Knicks and Nets before they even get started on courting LeBron.

If Phil Jackson wasn’t willing to leave LA, and Shaw wasn’t either, Scott appears to have been the best option available. He certainly is better than the coaches of the teams that are allegedly the “frontrunners” to sign LeBron: Miami (Erik Spoelstra), Chicago (Tom Thibodeau), New Jersey (Avery Johnson) and New York.

So while hiring Scott is superior to hiring Izzo, it may be a step behind hiring Shaw.

Let’s call it a solid B and get on to the next order of business: Has anyone asked Chris Bosh what he thinks of the hiring?

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