Cleveland Cavaliers: 3 Reasons Byron Scott Should Be Replaced at Season's End
Byron Scott has been a good NBA coach throughout his career, but his time in Cleveland may be coming to an end.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are 12-17, but they have lost 11 of their past 17 games.
The team is sloppy with the ball and has a hard time finding uncontested shots. These are two recipes for disaster because they make it significantly easier for opposing teams to push the tempo.
Scott has also failed to get Cleveland out of the shadow of LeBron James.
Coaching a rebuilding team may not be the right job for Scott. He thought he was hired to coach James. Instead, he's the caretaker of a young team with eight players that are 24 years old or younger.
Here are three reasons why Scott should be replaced at the end of the season.
Scott Publicly Called the Team out
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"We just looked like we were scared to death. Plain and simple. I thought they came out with great energy and great effort. We didn't match it whatsoever. I mean, on both ends of the floor. Some of the things that we've been talking about and some of the things we've been doing, it just seems like the lights were too bright for a lot of guys. Simple as that."
"I'm surprised we didn't come with a better effort. I'm surprised that we didn't come and take the fight to them."
Is that the player's fault for not coming prepared, or is it the coach's fault? Is it not the head coach's responsibility to prepare his team for every game?
The Cavaliers came out flat against the Heat and got beat down.
As Paul Westphal learned, publicly calling out your team can be a fatal mistake. Scott didn't throw out any specific names, but some of the guys in the locker room have to believe that Scott doesn't believe in them.
For a team trying to make its first post season since LeBron James' departure, this is not the kind of news these players need to hear.
Scott Hasn't Gotten Cleveland over LeBron
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When James recently said that he wouldn't rule out a return to Cleveland someday, it was big news.
It was news because everything James says is news. And because Cleveland isn't over James.
Scott was hired to do what Mike Brown couldn't do—win a championship. He took the Cavaliers job thinking he was going to coach the best basketball player in the world.
Instead, he got the responsibility of guiding the team through its rebuilding stage.
When people think of the Cavaliers, they still think of James. And that's where Scott has failed as a coach. Cleveland hasn't fully moved on from James.
Kyrie Irving is a good young player. But he's not James.
The only thing that will get Cleveland over James is victories. And few have come the past two seasons.
Cleveland Has Improved, but Have They Improved Enough?
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We live in an age where everyone wants instant success.
But that's impossible.
Scott inherited a nearly impossible job—coaching the Cavaliers after the departure of James.
As Tom Reed from the Cleveland Plain Dealer said, Scott's offense often struggles to find open shots. They are close to the top in the league in shot-clock violations.
As Reed also pointed out, the Cavaliers commit way too many turnovers. They lead the league with 17 a game.
These two things have to improve if Scott wants to keep his job. He can preach all he wants about how his team can't be scared when they play against the big opponents, but first he needs to fix basic basketball problems. That includes taking care of the ball and getting open shots.
If Scott is unable to improve these two areas of the team, they're going to keep losing games. And, Scott can't afford to keep losing games, unless he wants to look for a new coaching gig next season.