The honeymoon between the Cleveland Cavaliers and their first-year American-Israeli coach, David Blatt, seems to have ended a bit prematurely, reports say.
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According to the reports, there is a certain amount of – unattributed -- dissatisfaction among the players and management with Blatt, who last summer joined the Cavaliers from Israel's Maccabi team.
With his international success, ESPN reported, the 55-year-old Blatt faced high expectations, particularly when LeBron James, one of the league's true boldface names, rejoined Cleveland.
Sources told ESPN that the team wasn't responding to Blatt, particularly on defense. In the past two weeks, the team lost two blowouts, by 29 points to Atlanta and 23 to Detroit.
The loss to Detroit stood out because the Pistons have won only 7 of 30 games. The Cavs, who are 18-12 on the season so far, are 23rd out of 30 teams in points allowed per possession.
For Blatt's part he told ESPN he very definitely has the team's attention. He acknowledged the two lagging performances but noted that a couple of key players were out with injuries.
And James told ESPN that his relationship with the coach improves every day. "This is two months of us being together," he said. "I don't know him fully. He doesn't know me fully. He doesn't know any of the guys fully and that's to be expected. It's our first year together. But he has our attention."
CBS Sports reported that the Cavaliers' offense is inconsistent. They've the fourth-best offense per possession in the league – but when they lose, their ranking drops to 19th.
And USA Today ran a commentary arguing that the Cavaliers "are LeBron’s team more than Blatt’s" and the coach should allow "the best player in the NBA" to, in a sense, run the team.