Game 7: History hangs in the balance

Any Game 7 in a conference final carries its down dramatic and personal weight for the competitors involved, but Game 7 of the 2016 Western Conference Finals contains the added weight of history. So many historical twists and turns end Monday night in Oakland. The NBA will witness a rare occurrence in its 70th season […]

Basketball opinions exist on a foundation of quicksand

Professional basketball possesses the most intense spotlight in North American team sports — perhaps not in terms of the amount of media coverage devoted to the endeavor (the NFL wins that distinction), but in terms of the extent to which one or two players get a disproportionate share of credit or blame for their team’s […]

Jeff Hornacek and the NBA coaching carousel: so many plot twists

The arrival of Jeff Hornacek as the new head coach of the New York Knicks certainly qualifies as a surprise relative to expectations… and hopes. Any Knicks fan who had become resigned to the idea that Kurt Rambis would be the permanent head coach in New York is happy in the wake of this development. […]

Tyronn Lue is doing well, but larger verdicts must wait

Americans are notoriously impatient, and no matter what anyone might want to say about Tyronn Lue, there’s only one responsible way to view his presence as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Simply stated, we simply can’t say anything particularly profound about Lue — at least not anything which can be taken seriously — […]

Catch and match the Warriors? The Cavs want to try with Frye

No, the Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t unload Kevin Love. They didn’t seek an overhaul before the 2016 NBA trade deadline. They didn’t need to. Any substantial moves would have sent the message that the current roster wasn’t really trusted. What might have made a layered Love deal even worse for the Cavs: It could have created […]

The All-Star Game coaching solution? Player-coaches

There are dozens of different ways in which to solve the upcoming NBA All-Star Game’s fascinating first-world problem: Which coaches should coach this game in Toronto? After Monday night’s resounding win by the Golden State Warriors over the San Antonio Spurs, it’s clear that the Dubs will be ahead of the Spurs on January 31, […]

The biggest question surrounding Tyronn Lue: Where has he been?

First things first: Tyronn Lue — no matter what else is going to be said in the next several paragraphs — already made a significant contribution to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Nothing about the historical record will ever change that fact, either. Remember this incident? Lue pulled David Blatt to the bench in an attempt to […]

LeBron, David Blatt, and the shadows behind the scenes with the Cavs

One fundamental part of the art of sports analysis — it is often a science, but it more centrally remains an art — is the recognition of what coaching actually requires. As younger sports fans, we all gravitated to the obvious elements of the coaching job description, the ones that are easy to see on […]

Kyrie, Kevin, and the ironies enfolding a dismissed David Blatt

As David Blatt’s tenure comes to an end in Cleveland, the ironies surrounding his departure are numerous, profound, and endlessly fascinating. It’s a sidebar to the main story — in other words, it’s not about LeBron’s possible power play or David Griffin’s reasoned attempt to hold the Cavs franchise together — but it certainly rates […]

Cleveland — errrr, LeBron — fires David Blatt

Certain teams, at certain times in their history or evolution (or both), are expected to win world championships and nothing less. Viewed from this vantage point and phrased in this manner, it’s understandable to see why the Cleveland Cavaliers fired head coach David Blatt on Friday afternoon, despite a 30-11 record and a first-place standing […]

The Cavaliers lose a game, but gain needed reassurance in Oakland

So much hype accompanied the Christmas Day showdown between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, to the point that for many, the game represented a referendum on the Cavs and what they had learned since the 2015 NBA Finals. This viewpoint is entirely understandable. Cleveland knows that the Warriors are the league’s gold […]

With Kevin Love Retained, The Cavs Can Take Care Of LeBron

The notion of “taking care of a player” most commonly refers to a generous financial package. It also refers to the attempt to surround him with the right players. In the case of LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers have taken care of him in a third way: They’ve put themselves in position to make LeBron’s […]

Cleveland’s Comfort: Everything’s About To Be In Place

Cleveland sports fans will have to wait another year for that first NBA championship and that first pro sports title since 1964. Failing to win “The Big One” undeniably hurts to a certain extent, but to the good people of that fair city in northeastern Ohio, let’s acknowledge something you already know: This was not […]

What Exactly Would People Like David Blatt to Do?

Before the NBA Finals started, few were expecting the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the series. In fact, many predicted Golden State to win in a mere five games or even by simply sweeping the Cavs. That has obviously not happened, with much of the — deserved — credit going to LeBron James, yet people are still […]