Exec says Cleveland Cavaliers committed to first-year coach David Blatt
As the Cleveland Cavaliers` woes deepened Sunday with a 109-90 NBA loss to Dallas, general manager David Griffin insisted the team was committed to first-year coach David Blatt.
"No change is being made, period," Griffin told reporters prior to Sunday`s game.
Last week ESPN reported that some in the club were concerned that Blatt, a 55-year-old American who guided Russia to 2012 Olympic bronze and Maccabi Tel Aviv to a Euroleague crown before being hired by the Cavaliers in June, was unable to motivate his players.
"This narrative of our coaching situation is truly ridiculous," Griffin said. "It is a non-story. It`s a non-narrative.
"Coach Blatt is our coach. He`s going to remain our coach. Do not write that as a vote of confidence," Griffin added with a touch of exasperation. "He never needed one. It was never a question."
Blatt arrived weeks before four-time Most Valuable Player LeBron James left Miami to return to his home state club in the quest of bringing a major sports crown to Cleveland, which has not had such a champion in half a century.
Griffin said the club had expected the season to be one of growing pains, which have only been made worse by a spate of injuries.
James is sidelined for about two weeks with strains to his lower back and left knee. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving have also missed time with injuries and Brazilian big-man Anderson Varejao`s season was ended by an Achilles tendon injury.
Griffin said James was on a protocol of "rest and therapy" and would be seen by team medical staff on Wednesday, one week into his projected fortnight off.
Griffin said James could come back a bit sooner -- or a bit later -- depending on how his injuries respond to treatment.
In the meantime, he insisted, there`s no need to panic.
"What we`ve got is exactly what we talked about," he said. "Growth and development and the long haul is what this is about.
"Everybody needs to just settle down and let it happen."
That will be harder if the defeats continue to pile up.
With the loss to Dallas, Cleveland have lost four of their last five games, including three of four since James has been sidelined.
Love again picked up the offensive slack for Cleveland, scoring 30 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.
Irving, however, scored only six points against the Mavericks as the Cavaliers as a whole shot just 40.7 percent.
Dallas connected better than 56 percent of their shots from the field, Monta Ellis leading the way with 20 points.
Dirk Nowitzki added 15 points and Chandler Parsons, Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea added 14 apiece for the Mavs, who notched their fifth straight win and moved into a virtual tie with Memphis for first place in the Southwest Division.