LeBron James says he’s trying to teach the “young guys” on the Cleveland Cavaliers how to win, but James seems to have left his teaching certification framed in his Miami office. The Cavaliers scored just 78 points last night in a loss against the Wizards (91-78). There were numerous occasions when James visibly didn’t hustle back on defense. It was downright strange for a player who for years has excelled on defense and had no obvious superior in the effort department.
The loss was the Cavs’ third straight. It proves two things. One, the NBA is tough: just because you put a few stars together doesn’t mean a team’s gonna start ripping through a league that’s flush with talented teams like the Wizards. The second point the loss proves is that LeBron wants rookie coach David Blatt out of there. There’s really no other way to parse this lack of effort. A coach has one job–to get max effort out of his guys, a la Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau. Blatt is qualified to coach, but James won’t let him succeed. Blatt was hired before James’ move and James wants to choose his own guy. 19 turnovers at home. James said afterwards, “It starts with me, sure.” Hear that sure? That’s a nail in David Blatt’s coaching coffin.