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“The Cavaliers were designed to lose. To brave a few tough seasons and take advantage of a series of upcoming draft picks and the stash of salary cap space that the team smartly went after in the wake of the 2010-11 disaster. Byron Scott was not hired to lead this team to a surprise run to the eighth seed, even if Varejao and Irving stayed healthy the entire season. This franchise, intelligently, is in it for the long haul.
And because they’ve seen such little progress even while working through the rebuilding caveats, they’ve garnered enough information needed to deduce that Byron Scott is not the man they want for the second part of this turnaround job.
The next voice? Between Irving, those draft picks, and that cap flexibility, the Cavaliers should have their pick of the litter. Make all the ‘Cleveland’ jokes you want, NBA fans, before you come to terms with the fact that this is an enviable gig. This is a team looking to turn the corner, the right way. Finally.” [Dwyer/Ball Don't Lie]
“What I’m more inclined to believe is Scott was fired for reasons less apparent in the standings and more apparent on the court: the puzzling substitutions patterns, the lack of ingenuity on offense (especially down the stretch), the damn high-pressure defensive system that was at least partially to blame for the Cavs’ historically bad opponent shooting percentages over the past three seasons. Perhaps this group of players was too young, too disparate to achieve respectability, but Scott could never assemble them in a way where it became easy to see where the future might lead. If the rumors are true, the players might have been divided as to whether he knew what he was doing. As of this morning, I’m certain the Cavs have talent, but I’m uncertain how that talent fits together and how each players’ individual skills can best serve the team’s success. A great coach is a great sense-maker, and this team is still gibberish in motion.” [McGowan/Cavs the Blog]
“Only ten players in A.L. history have had a strikeout rate of at least 30% in a qualified season, right now the Tribe has three such players (the record was set by Adam Dunn last year, at 34.2%). Strikeouts are only marginally worse than other outs, but the options for a PA that ends in an strikeout weren’t just other types of outs, they could have become walks or hits, even home runs.
The Indians’ strikeout rate right now is 23.2% (115 K in 495 PA). The American League’s combined strikeout rate last season was 19.3% (a record high). That additional 3.9% amounts to 19 additional strikeouts so far.” [Lukehart/Let's Go Tribe]
“But this is life in the National Basketball Association. It’s where young, entitled players refuse to defend because they know they have more power than the coach. Only seven of 30 coaches have been with their current teams for four years. Scott had the third-most seniority in the Eastern Conference, in his third season with the Cavs.
But something else has to change, besides the “defensive schemes” that Grant believes are a major problem. The roster has to be upgraded, and not just with the two first-rounders coming in this draft. The franchise can’t charge fans big money to watch a team on training wheels, a core group of players of whom most aren’t old enough to rent a car. Not for a fourth year in a row.” [Pluto/Cleveland.com]
“If Gilbert is smart, his first call is to Jackson. That doesn’t mean Jackson will bite. He’s made it clear he wants control in the personnel decisions, and that’s not going to happen in Cleveland because Chris Grant has done a terrific job. Yet, if you’re Jackson, do you pass on the chance to possibly — possibly — coach LeBron? And if you’re LeBron, do you pass on the chance to return to Cleveland, join a much better surrounding cast than the one you left two years ago, play for Jackson and warm your way back into the hearts of a jilted city?
It’s a scenario that’s almost too good to be true. And yet, if everything falls right, it can happen. And it would be the biggest news to hit the NBA since LeBron left for Miami and hooked up with Pat Riley, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in 2011.” [Powell/Sports on Earth]