It seems that David Blatt might be finding coaching in the NBA a little tougher than in the Euroleague.
BLATT LOSING HIS CAVS TEAM?
Despite owning a winning record of 18-12, rumours state that first year NBA coach David Blatt is losing his own Cleveland Cavaliers team after the 103-80 loss to Detroit last night.
Last season, Blatt was on clod nine after winning the Euroleague crown and Israeli league with Maccabi. Now, the players of the Cavs are seemingly distancing themselves.
There is a growing level of worry within the Cleveland Cavaliers organization about first-year coach David Blatt and his ability to reach the team, according to league sources. […] Sources said that there is rising concern in team circles about the level of response Blatt is getting on the floor, with Blatt himself acknowledging that the Cavaliers “lost our energy and we lost our competitiveness” in Sunday night’s embarrassing home loss to Detroit.
Blatt was indeed asked Sunday at his postgame news conference if he is worried himself that he might be losing control of the team. He responded: “I’m not concerned about that at all. I’m more concerned with how we’re playing.”
“You know, we’re going through a few things right now,” Blatt said Sunday night. “We’ve lost some pretty important players. … At that point that you have to be more competitive, and more determined, and fight your way through that or else this happens. It’s not an excuse, it’s just an explanation for your question. That’s the reality of it. We didn’t fight enough to battle the difficulties that we’ve had.”
LEBRON: WE’RE JUST NOT VERY GOOD
Cleveland’s LeBron James has not been his usual self either.
Via Akron Beacon Journal:
The entire team played carelessly with the ball, leading to 17 turnovers. Players were getting beaten to loose balls and the team looked like it mentally checked out sometime in the third quarter. […] “I think it compounds quite a bit when we turn the ball over,” forward Kevin Love said. “Sometimes when that happens or when we let somebody get an easy bucket, we hang our heads. … We need to play better in front of our home crowd. It’s unacceptable.”
“Right now, we’re just not very good in every aspect of the game that we need to be to compete every night,” LeBron James said.
James has been in this situation before. When he joined the Miami Heat in 2010, the Heat famously began the season 9-8. By game 30 — where the Cavs are now — the Heat were 21-9, which is, of course, better than the Cavs’ current record, but these are also different teams. […] “We were a more veteran ballclub my first year in Miami,” James said. “Even though we went through our struggles, we were a veteran ballclub. Here, we’re a lot younger and less experienced.”
D-ROSE: THE BULLS CAN MAKE A RUN AT THE TITLE
Six wins in a row and now Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose has said that his side can make a challenge for the NBA title.
“I think we can,” Rose said before Monday’s shootaround. “I don’t want to jinx ourselves, but I think we can really make a run for this [championship] this year. But it just takes focus, discipline, and we got to sacrifice a little bit.”
Rose, who has been singing the praises of this group since it was put together over the summer, said that it is nice not to have to carry so much weight offensively. Fourth-year swingman Jimmy Butler and veteran big man Pau Gasol are playing at an All-Star level, taking a lot of pressure off Rose’s shoulders as he continues making his way back from two serious knee injuries.
“It’s a good feeling,” Rose said. “First time I’ve ever had that while I’ve been in the league. It takes a lot of pressure off everyone, where someone can easily go off for 15 or 20 points within a couple of quarters and put the [opposing] team away pretty quick. It’s fun. We don’t take it for granted, and we just know that we could always improve every day.”
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau echoes those sentiments. He is pleased with the way his team is performing; he just doesn’t want the players to lose focus.
“I think we’re moving in the right, the last 10 games, we’re moving in right direction,” Thibodeau said. “I think [we’re] playing strong on both sides of the ball. We’re getting a lot of contributions from different people. And it’s been good, but we have to be able to sustain it and keep building.”