Tyronn Lue is now thrust into the spotlight. For the newly minted coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the road to success is not too far away. It will take a little bit of work for Tyronn Lue, and the Cavaliers for that matter, to get some things in order. The 96-83 loss to the Chicago Bulls on ABC’s first Saturday Night NBA broadcast of the season proves that Tyronn Lue and the Cavaliers have a little ways to go. Lue has to step into the shoes of David Blatt, who was fired (info courtesy of Cleveland.com) in the wake of a blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors.
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) January 24, 2016
It was shocking news when it was announced that Blatt was ousted in favor of Tyronn Lue. The classy David Blatt left the Cavaliers in the same manner in which he came. His statement was an indicator that there was no hard feelings.
“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as the Head Coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. I’d like to thank Dan Gilbert and David Griffin for giving me this opportunity and am honored to have worked with an amazing group of players from LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love through our entire roster.
“I’d also like to express my extreme gratitude to my coaching staff. I am indebted to them for their professionalism hard work, loyalty and friendship. I am proud of what we have accomplished since I have been the Head Coach and wish the Cavaliers nothing but the best this season and beyond.”
There is an actual plan in place. At the very least, Tyronn Lue wants to have the Cavaliers back in the NBA Finals with a chance to finally win a title for the city of Cleveland. Getting in shape and playing at a faster pace is something that Lue wants the Cavaliers to do. Scoring a meager 83 points against a team with desires to contend like the Bulls is not going to cut it.
After the loss, Coach Tyronn Lue was honest in his assessment of the Cavs in his first game as the top guy. He astutely points out that his team is not in good enough shape (courtesy of ESPN). Most importantly, Tyronn Lue’s biggest star, LeBron James endorsed his new coach’s words.
“Yup, we got to get in better shape. Coach wanted to play faster, so we need to start doing stuff on off days, doing stuff at practice, during shootarounds, getting up and down the floor, getting our heart rate going, because he wants to play faster, play with more pace than we’ve done in the past. Try to get up and down the court before the defense is set on us. So we all need to be in better shape.”
It is clear that LeBron James and Tyronn Lue are on the same page.
Playing at a faster pace would keep them in the game against a team such as Golden State. The 36-point demolishing let the Cavaliers know just how far they have to go if they want to finally get over the hump. It is not the two victories over the Brooklyn Nets and an injury ravaged Los Angeles Clippers that gave Cleveland the confidence that they could repeat as Eastern Conference champions.
Those wins were expected from a team with LeBron James, a healthy Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love as their trifecta of players. A closer outcome, albeit a revenge win over the Warriors, would have changed the current course, keeping everything the way that is was with David Blatt as the head coach. Perhaps it was his Princeton offense which did not resonate well with the players who, by all accounts, are built to play at a faster pace when their conditioning is present.
Playing at a faster pace would suit every player on the roster except for center Timofey Movgoz — which is why Mozgov, a quality center, is rumored to be on the trading block.
"It was tough." Tyronn Lue opens up about replacing David Blatt as Cavaliers head coach: https://t.co/nhYhs7HONg
— ESPN (@espn) January 24, 2016
The job which awaits Tyronn Lue, and to a lesser extent, LeBron James, is to live up to the expectations of having one of the most expensive rosters in NBA history.
The Cavs payroll is a staggering $109 million this season. There is little cap relief on the horizon for a team who did not have a ton of turnover in the aftermath of losing in the NBA Finals to the Warriors. Cleveland begin training camp with LeBron James nursing a balky back, Kyrie Irving recovering from a broken knee cap, and acrimony with Tristan Thompson due to contract negotiations. That, along with the cloudy situation regarding then-coach David Blatt.
These circumstances were not a mystery to Tyronn Lue. As the lead assistant coach, he was privy to everything that was going on in the Cavs organization. Now he must help the team get past everything that has taken place.
For Tyronn Lue to have any success this season the conditioning of his Cleveland Cavaliers’ players are at the top and bottom of his list. Ball rotation, trust in each other, and execution are sandwiched in the middle. The NBA season is just beyond its midway point. Tyronn Lue has about 25 games to establish his vision with the team. As long as the Cavaliers take heed to what Tyronn Lue plans for them, everything will end up fine.
The Cavaliers players effectively tuned David Blatt out during the early stages of the season. He was fired as a result. Enter Tyronn Lue, a former NBA player with ideas on building a faster pace with his team. With the greatest endorsement coming from the league’s biggest star, LeBron James, Tyronn Lue’s vision will be implemented. That said, he still has a lot of work to do.
[Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images]