Tag:Byron Scott
Posted on: March 14, 2011 9:44 pm

Someone should tell Byron Scott the horse is dead

Byron Scott continues to criticize Cavaliers, failing to acknowledge culpability and piling on a struggling team.
Posted by Matt Moore

At this point, all Byron Scott is doing is beating a dead horse, then blaming the horse for looking dead. He's also disregarding his involvement in the horse being dead, as if his ownership of the horse should bear no relation to the state of the horse. 

Scott has consistently and increasingly criticized his Cavaliers squad as the loss-total has mounted to unbelievable heights. He's kept saying how they have no heart and are basically an embarassment. His latest comments from the Cleveland Plain Dealer after the Cavs' loss to the Thunder Sunday: 
But like the boy who cried wolf, Scott's words might be hollow threats after they're spoken again and again -- even if they're accurate.

"I'm really starting to question what type of heart we have as a basketball team," Scott said. "If you are a competitor, no matter what the situation is, no matter what the year has brought, you're going to come in and compete every single night. We haven't done that the last two games. That's my biggest question: Do we have enough guys in that locker room right now that have heart and some other things to go out there and play the way they're supposed to play?"
via Cleveland Cavaliers hammered by Thunder, 95-75, and by Byron Scott's criticism | cleveland.com.

Now, I'm sure in his comments, Scott has taken responsibility at some point for the team's struggles, and that the media is isolating those comments because they grab the most headlines. But just by making them, he's opening up for this appearance of the situation. And the appearance is that Scott is at the helm of this franchise which has reached historically bad depths, and yet is separating himself from their performance, despite being in charge. The players aren't showing effort? It's Scott's job to get them there. And if they're still not doing it? Throw out the cliches to the media, shrug a lot, and carry on. 

What Scott's doing doesn't spell leadership. It doesn't spell inspiration, effort, or desire. It simply reeks of passing the buck, of blaming a group of players placed in an impossible situation. How did Scott think this season was really going to go without LeBron? And that's the real source of this issue.  Scott came on board before "The Decision." When the front office was in transition, trying to figure out what it was doing as it tried to re-sign LeBron James. Scott is not the coach you want for a developing team trying to grow young talent. He notoriously buried Marcus Thornton and Darren Collison to start the 2009-2010 season in New Orleans. He demands all of his teams reach the level of execution he became used to as a member of the Lakers.  But this team was not in that position. 

It was set to rebuild, except neither ownership, nor management, nor ownership wanted to admit that. So instead of holding a firesale and recognizing where they really were, you have situations like this, where a team that's been beaten down, overwhelmed, and outclassed thanks to its roster makeup is getting kicked by its own coach. The Cavaliers organization has set up its team to fail, then blamed it for failing. Which is ironic, given so many years of blindly supporting LeBron James and his notoriously interference-heavy ways of influencing team policies and procedures. 

It's not that the Cavaliers should be satisfied with the effort given by the Cavaliers. He should light them up for their failures in practice, demand more of themselves, more of himself. But the press shouldn't be given these kinds of quotes. It's not doing anything but make a miserable situation worse. If you didn't want this situation, you should have waited to make sure the player that would have made it easy re-signed. 

Scott maybe didn't make this bed, but he chose it to be where he laid. Can't complain it's not comfy now. 
Posted on: January 7, 2011 7:25 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2011 7:33 pm

Cavs forward Leon Powe undergoes knee surgery

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Leon Powe underwent knee surgery on Friday and is expected to miss six weeks. Posted by Ben Golliver. leon-powe

Leon Powe made his name as a member of the 2007-2008 NBA champion Boston Celtics, but a torn left ACL derailed his future in Boston. In the summer of 2009, he signed a two-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Unfortunately, a knee injury has befallen Powe once again, as the Plain-Dealer reports that Powe underwent surgery to repair torn meniscus in his right knee that was discovered during an MRI on Friday. He is expected to miss six weeks. 

Powe, a 27 year-old forward in his fifth NBA season, is averaging 5.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 13.4 minutes per game off of Cleveland's bench. The Cavaliers take a "by committee" approach to their frontcourt and coach Byron Scott has plenty of forwards that have been in the rotation that can help pick up the slack. 

The Cavaliers hold the worst record in both the Central Division and the Eastern Conference, at 8-27 on the season.
Posted on: December 12, 2010 3:18 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:32 pm

J.J. Hickson is unhappy, no longer untouchable?

Cleveland Cavaliers forward J.J. Hickson is unhappy with his role and the team reportedly might be open to trading him. Posted by Ben Golliverjj-hickson

When LeBron James left Cleveland last summer, the Cavaliers immediately transformed from perennial title contender to rebuilding hope-seller. To make matters worse, no one on the roster really inspires much hope, save young, athletic forward J.J. Hickson, who showed out at this year's Las Vegas Summer League and looked primed to step into a role as team centerpiece in the short-term.

Hickson's overall numbers -- 23.6 minutes, 10.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 9.2 field goal attempts -- are up this season, but his shooting percentage has dipped dramatically -- from 55% last season to 44% -- and Cavaliers coach Byron Scott reportedly hasn't seen the level of consistency that he is looking for, benching Hickson last week. 
Cleveland.com reports that Hickson has struggled with the move to the bench and wasn't pleased with how Scott is treating him.
"I'm not adjusting very good," he said. "I don't think it's any secret. Coach [Byron Scott] knows I'm not happy. My teammates know I'm not happy. But as a professional basketball player, you deal with it as a pro."
Hickson wasn't particularly pleased with how the demotion was handled. "The night I didn't start I didn't know I wasn't going to start until 30 seconds before we went out to go warm up," he said. And he wasn't thrilled with how Scott explained what he has to do to change the situation. "[Scott] said, 'Play with energy,' which I think I do, and that was about it," he said. 
Meanwhile, News-Herald.com reports that the Cavaliers may be reconsidering their position on Hickson when it comes to trades.
Up until now, forward J.J. Hickson has been untouchable in any trade talks. The Cavs might be close to including his name in possible deals. He doesn't seem like a happy camper right now.
Nothing in the NBA tests you mentally like losing, and the Cavaliers have lost six straight games and are 2-10 in their last 12. That discord between new coach and young player should surface at this time is no huge surprise, and this feels like a classic coach/player conflict.  You can easily see where both sides are coming from. Scott, former NBA champion, looks at Hickson as a young player who should be playing to earn every second of his playing time because he hasn't proven anything in the NBA yet. Hickson looks around at his teammates, realizes how bad they are, and concludes that he should be afforded a certain level of respect given his talent, relative to the rest of the group. Eventually, the sides will meet in the middle: Scott will have made his point about effort level, and Hickson will return to the starting lineup, ideally playing with an extra edge. The idea that Hickson was truly "untouchable" in trade talks is a misnomer. Sure, as a promising young big man on a rookie deal, Hickson was a top priority from a roster construction standpoint. But a team as desperate as the Cavaliers with an owner as desperate as Dan Gilbert would trade any and everybody if it made the team relevant, which it isn't right now.  While Hickson needs to work through his issues with Scott, he remains the best asset on the Cavs roster. Cleveland would be foolish to move him, unless it was as part of a larger package for a marquee name. 
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:26 am
Edited on: December 8, 2010 11:35 am

Is Byron Scott losing the Cavs?

Posted by Royce Young

LeBron's return to Cleveland was seen as something not just for the fans, but as something to bring the current Cavalier unit together. Except it has kind of had the opposite effect.

  Counting the Heat's 28-point destruction of them, the Cavaliers have now dropped four straight by an average margin of 23 points. Not just that, but the losses following the Miami game have come at the hands of the Timberwolves, Pistons and 76ers. Teams with a combined record of 19-45.

With the way things are going, it almost seems like the Cavs have quit. And there's thinking that coach Byron Scott may be losing his team. Scott knows they hear him. But even he doesn't know if it's getting through.

"I feel they hear me," he told The Cleveland Plain Dealer. "Now the listening part I don't know. I think I was pretty loud and clear at halftime."

Leaders like Daniel Gibson and Antwan Jamison say they're still tuned in. "I'm listening to him," Jamison told the paper. "Guys are listening to him as well. Let's be honest. It's not the coach." Said Gibson: "We definitely ride with everything Byron tells us ... He's in our corner, and we all are behind him. We have to go out there and do it."

Cavs beat writer Mary Schmitt Boyer, a very seasoned NBA writer, feels like this team has pretty much given up.
"I have covered the NBA in various places since 1981. I've covered good teams and bad teams and expansion teams and championship teams, so I know what I'm talking about here when I say that this Cavs team, right now, is as bad as any of them. It has nothing to do with talent. It has to do with attitude, and these Cavs are feeling sorry for themselves. Hey, it's too bad that LeBron James left and didn't take all of you to South Beach, but the people of Cleveland who remain deserve a better effort than you have been putting out. They got a pretty raw deal, too, you know.

This is absolutely pathetic. Byron Scott is right when he says it's got nothing to do with Xs and Os. Antawn Jamison is right when he says nothing has changed in the team's offensive or defensive schemes and that guys have to look themselves in the mirror. The worst part is that Scott said things actually could get worse. He said he wasn't sure if guys had had enough yet. Well, I can tell you from the emails and comments posted on the Plain Dealer stories and blogs, that fans have had enough."
For whatever reason, it seemed to all changed after the Heat game. Prior to that, the Cavs couldn't have been called anything other than a mediocre team that played with some inconsistency. They were 7-10, had beaten a contender like the Celtics and were competitive every night. The good teams handled them by 10 or more, but the average and bad clubs were either wins, or close losses. But after LeBron came back, the Cavs aren't even competitive against the bad teams.

After the 34-point loss to the Wolves, I thought the team had quit. It was obvious to me. They had no interest in working on the defensive end and at no point looked focused and intent on winning a basketball game. They looked like group that wanted to get on the hardwood for 48 minutes and then get off as quickly as possible.

Scott has been through a tough season before. He coached the Grizzlies (of Vancouver at the time) to a 15-67 record in their first season. Scott even said he started drinking beer as a result of that year. And the way this season is going, he may have built quite the liquor cabinet before April.
Posted on: December 5, 2010 1:19 am
Edited on: December 5, 2010 1:23 am

The real quitter in Cleveland? The current team

Posted by Royce Young

Leading up to LeBron James' return, the talk in Cleveland was all about how a player quit on his city. How he betrayed them. How he was a traitor. Cavalier fans brought signs to let him know. They chanted it at him. They yelled it at him. They wanted LeBron to know that he quit on them.

Well, they might want to give the current team the same treatment when the Cavs return home Dec. 18.

Following a 28-point drubbing by LeBron's Heat where the Cavs trailed by as much as 38 and pretty much let down a city ready to rally behind them, the Cavs went on the road to play the 4-15 Timberwolves. Not necessarily a sure thing win by any means, but a game you'd expect the Cavs to bounce back in. I mean, they had to still be stinging after the beating they took at the hands of the Heat and ready to rinse that blood off their hands.

Instead, the Wolves beat down the Cavs by 34, possibly sending the franchise to maybe its lowest point ever. Think about it - LeBron returns and instead of being intimidated by the animosity thrown at him, he drops a cold-blooded 38 points and leads his new team to a blowout win. Ouch. And when the Cavs take the floor the next time, they don't even come close to competing. After one quarter, Cleveland trailed by 13 and it just got worse and worse and worse, eventually snowballing into their worst loss of the season.

  Following the game, coach Byron Scott was pretty honest and candid with reporters. "We played like the word that starts with an s and ends with a t," he said. "To me we're playing like the worst basketball team in the NBA right now.''

Hard to argue, really.

LeBron blew the Cavs out twice. Once in Cleveland and then again against the Wolves. Whether it was because the team didn't have any fight in them and backed down or because there was some sort of emotional hill they couldn't get over, the fact is, these two losses look pretty bad.

(An aside here though: Props to the Wolves. They set a new franchise record with 18 3-pointers and shot nearly 70 percent from deep. Kevin Love was 5-5 from 3, Wesley Johnson 3-4 and Wayne Ellington 4-6. This of course wouldn't have been possible without the soft Cleveland defense, but the Wolves still had to make the shots, which they did at a ridiculous rate.)

You can almost - I said almost - excuse the loss to the Heat. A superior team with superior talent that was absolutely ready to annihilate the Cavs to stand up for their guy.  But taking an absolute beating from the Wolves? I don't know where you come up with an excuse for that. The only explanation really is that the team stinks, the players didn't play with any heart and basically, they packed it in pretty much after the opening tip.

There's still plenty of time to bounce back for these guys though. The Cavs are 7-12 and have 63 games left to re-inspire themselves and act like they're playing for something. But what was supposed to bring them together and give them something to feed off of in LeBron's return has had the opposite effect. They crumbled faster than Rich Rodriguez at a Josh Groban concert. Instead of rallying with a city and adhering by the "All For One" motto they go by, the Cavs just didn't respond. Again, the season is still young and Byron Scott is a good motivator. But these past few days are some of the darkest in the franchises history, no doubt.

The Cavs play their next two on the road with a game at Detroit Sunday night. All of a sudden, that matchup has become extremely important for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with the standings. Cleveland needs to bounce back and do it now. The team, the fans, the city, the franchise can't afford to continue to sink down into this hole. There's no time to pout. There's no time to think about LeBron.

The city is still feeling the sting from the whipping Heat administered and there's real potential here to do lasting damage to the fanbase if the team doesn't show some heart and guts from here on out. Cleveland fans have shown they're willing to fight for this team. But they haven't seen anything similar from the team. No doubt there isn't a ton of talent on the roster anymore, but that doesn't mean the Wolves are 34 points better than you.

When LeBron left, a lot almost felt like professional basketball in Cleveland followed him. The depression caused by The Decision was so heavy that there was a fear that the fanbase might feel so jilted that they gave up. But they didn't. They rallied behind their guys, showed up in force and were ready for vengeance when LeBron returned. Except their guys completely let them down. And then to follow that up with the embarrassment that was Friday night in Minnesota, well, how do you explain that to your fans?

Maybe it was all the hoopla surrounding LeBron's return. Maybe the team was distracted by all the outside noise and was over-focused and over-hyped for the game against the Heat and it carried over to Saturday's game in Minnesota. Or maybe these guys have followed their leader from last season and pretty much just quit on the city. They absolutely have time to redeem themselves, but hopefully it's not already too late.
Posted on: November 19, 2010 8:21 am

Shootaround 11.19.10: Friends and enemies

Posted by Royce Young
  • Joey Graham is making friends in Cleveland: ''He'll be in the rotation for a little while,'' Cavs coach Byron Scott. ''I wanted to try something different. With Joey, I know I can get some scoring in the post. He's kind of made his living there.''
  • Cole Aldrich is blogging for Dime : "Someone asked me the other day to compare Coach Brooks and Coach Self. I would say the main thing that sticks out is both of their philosophies are defensive-minded. If you look at the teams that have won NBA championships, they were strong defensive teams like Boston and the Lakers. In terms of differences, Coach Brooks is probably a slight bit more laid back than Coach Self. He always expects a lot out of you, and he’ll get after you a little more."
  • J.R. Smith is losing his role to Gary Forbes: "I think J.R. knows exactly where we're at," Karl told The Denver Post Wednesday. "I think right now, it's J.R. and me, and I think J.R. should understand what's going on. I've got a kid playing better than he is playing. And I don't have minutes to share."
  • Eddy Rivera of MagicBasketball on Orlando's win: "There was no one from Phoenix that could slow down Howard, let alone stop him, so they were forced to double-team him nearly every time he touched the ball in a 4-out/1-in offensive set. This forced Howard to be a passer and, aside from a few turnovers here and there, he was able to spur some ball movement. Perhaps the one thing to takeaway from Howard’s performance on offense was that he was able to make two jumpshots on the left elbow with the third quarter winding down."
Posted on: October 5, 2010 2:54 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2010 2:55 pm

Report: Cavs offered Larry Bird coaching job

Posted by Royce Young

It's been over a decade since Larry Bird last coached. He led Indiana to an awesome 147-67 from 1997-2000 and last coached in the NBA Finals. He said he'd give the Pacers three years and that's exactly what he did.

Then Bird moved to the Pacers' front office, taking over completely in 2008 after Donnie Walsh went to New York, where Bird hasn't been near as successful. So the Cleveland Cavaliers, with a coaching vacancy earlier this summer, thought it might be a good idea to pull Bird back into the game.

And as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports, the Cavs reached out to Bird prior to bringing in current head coach Byron Scott. Obviously Bird rebuffed the offer and stayed with Indiana, but it's interesting nonetheless. Bird took the call according to Stein but then quickly decided he had no interest at returning to coaching.

Bird, 53, is said to have pretty much ruled out any return to coaching because of health and family reasons. Never a guy to love the spotlight, Bird has preferred his front office chair instead of the sideline one.

The Cavs had a rough time during their coaching search. Scott is a former Coach of the Year, but now with this Bird revelation, that's two high-profile figures that said not thanks to Cleveland. Current Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was close to accepting the job, but decided to stay in East Lansing instead.
Posted on: September 8, 2010 5:56 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 9:50 pm

Pop Quiz: Which coach is on the hot seat?

Posted by Matt Moore

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...

Which coach has the hottest seat going into the season?

Scott Brooks.

No kidding, you have to put Scott Brooks on this list. Even though he's been instrumental in taking a team with nothing but young players and turning them into a playoff team that looks every bit ready to challenge for a Western Conference title, Brooks has to be on this list. Why? Because he was so good last year he won the career death sentence: the Coach of the Year award. Let's take a look at the previous winners, shall we?

Mike Brown: canned.

Byron Scott: deleted.

Sam Mitchell: terminated.

Avery Johnson: gonezo.

Yeesh. Watch your back, Scottie.

Okay, besides the superstition, who's actually in danger of losing their gig this year? Here are four candidates.

Jay Triano: It's been stunning how Triano has managed to avoid harsh criticism for his squad's performance which helped lead to Chris Bosh's departure without so much as a consideration for staying in Toronto. Brian Colangelo takes all the blame for constructing a spineless defensive team with too many inconsistencies offensively, despite acquiring Amir Johnson and Reggie Evans and being willing to spend for Hedo Turkoglu (who despite all his problems, was a legit quality free agent last summer). Yet Triano's team wound up with the worst defensive marks in the league, falling out of the playoffs down the stretch, and he walked away largely unscathed. Now the Raptors are suffering with a significant lack of talent, and often, guys who underperformed with talent end up getting removed when they actually have good reasons for underperforming... much like Triano faces this season.

John Kuester: The offensive wiz of a team now considered to be one of the greater disappointments of the last decade had a rough opening season. Injuries and subpar play from their big free agents (which most people saw coming outside of the Pistons, though not to the degree) played a part, but this is a cold hearted business that very rarely provides reasonable responses to legitimate causes for losing. If Kuester can't get the Pistons turned around with that payroll, his reputation may not spare him from the axe of Joe Dumars.

Flip Saunders: If anyone in the entire league has an excuse for struggling through two seasons, it's got to be Saunders. Saunders was at the helm for one of the most disastrous seasons in league history last year, and had to preside over the meltdown, grin, and bear it as all his talent was shipped out in a rebuilding plan. John Wall was a Godsend, but Saunders has to deal with re-integrating Gilbert Arenas, containing the combustible Andray Blatche, and trying to move the franchise forward with John Wall. Throw in new majority ownership from Ted Leonsis, and Saunders may have too much stacked against him to survive a poor start, fair or not.

Jim O'Brien: Larry Bird has committed to O'Brien, has stayed by his side, and recently gave him a vote of confidence. But he's in the last year of his deal, which makes letting him go much easier to swallow. On top of that, the questions about talent are no longer going to valid this year. The Pacers now feature a legit center in Roy Hibbert, a legit star forward in Danny Granger, and a star point guard in Darren Collison. If O'Brien can't make this team work in a thin Eastern Conference, with at least some improvement, Bird may run out of patience for him.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com