The Case Against Tyronn Lue

An Apocryphal Ty Lue Meme

Ladies and Gentlemen of our CtB jury, JMKP and JMay bring you the following case against our oft-maligned head coach. This dynamic duo shall lay out their case with a series of one-two punches. The charges presented shall be harsh. Yet, Lady Justice shall stand omnipresent in this proceeding — and it shall be up to you, our CtB jury, to judge accordingly. 

The Cavs need to relieve Tyronn Lue of his coaching duties. Prudence may suggest that a coach who helped the Cavaliers win a championship, on top of three straight Finals appearances, deserves the benefit of the doubt; or at least protections against removal for light and transient causes. But, when a long train of coaching failures and abuses are coupled with squandering opportunities for the greatest player of all time, it becomes necessary for Cleveland team to throw off the shackles of mediocrity and find a coach worthy of our moment in history. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

Charge 1: Incapable Leadership and Incompetent Execution

JMKP: As a preliminary matter, it’s important to point out that I have no special insight into the machinations of what goes on behind closed doors with the Cavaliers. Maybe without Lue’s presence, LeBron would be pedestrian, JR Smith would never make a shot, and Jordan Clarkson would crap his pants on national television.

But I’m a betting man, and I also trust my own eyes. With them, I see that Tyronn Lue has done more to stymie the Cavaliers than anyone else in Cleveland. On top of simple things, like failing to call a time out while J.R. Smith is guarded by Kevin Durant at the end of Game 1 of the Finals, his issues run much deeper. Mainly, he just appears to be incapable of being a high-quality coach in the NBA.

The following comparison is illustrative. Remember when LeBron James was asked what happened in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics? LeBron recited a play-by-play of what happened to let the Celtics back into the game and was hailed as having a photographic memory (something that doesn’t actually exist, btw).

Tyronn Lue is regularly asked about what happened during games that, presumably, he was paying attention to while coaching. His reply is often, “gotta watch the tape.” After Game 3 of the Finals in 2017, Tyronn Lue was asked what happened after the Cavaliers were up 113-107 with three minutes to go; his response, “I got to look at it. I don’t know. I can’t remember.” Or, after Game 6 of the Cavaliers vs. Pacers playoff series, Ty Lue was asked what happened in the third quarter when the Pacers lead went from 10 to 20; Lue answered Jason Lloyd with this gem, “I don’t even remember Jason, I really don’t. It happened so quick, I gotta look at it, I really don’t remember.”

this “I don’t remember” answer is getting reallyyyyyy old, and I like Ty Lue personally https://t.co/1YHzhuX1Y3

— Rick Noland MG/CT (@RickNoland) April 28, 2018

Next, let’s take a look at the three following coaches: Gregg Popovich, Mike D’Antoni, and Ty Lue. Ask yourself, what is the identity of the team under each coach? For Popovich, it’s “The Spurs Way.” D’Antoni has his three point shooting and fast pace. For Lue? Can you name an identity besides “LeBron mumble mumble?” What about the idea about surrounding LeBron with 3-and-D guys and a second ball handler? Sure, but ask yourself what Lue has done differently than previous iterations of LeBron-led teams?

And it’s not like Lue hasn’t had the time to implement an offense or create a team identity. Remember when Lue took over for David Blatt, fighter pilot extraordinaire, and wanted to run a running, up-tempo offense? Or, when Lue installed four new sets into the offense at the beginning of this season, in order to emphasize constant motion and better spacing? Have any of these changes happened in two and a half seasons? Deciding not to practice that much this season certainly didn’t help. If a coach has a plan to do something (or a “secret plan”) that never seems to materialize, that coach is incompetent.

Finally, on this topic, a coach needs to be a leader of men. All successful management and leadership styles stress the importance of face-to-face interactions and leveling with people. So what in the blazes happened with Lue benching J.R. Smith earlier this year over text messaging? Also, remember that incident where Lue didn’t tell his players about Kevin Love’s illness after the game, and Wade had to challenge his own coach to tell the players what happened with their all star starter? Just from what we know in the media, Tyronn Lue handled this season with the communication skills of teenage Groot. Is Lue that afraid of face-to-face communication?

I feel for Lue, I really do. He’s been through a lot and deals with a lot of pressure. But, this is a professional league. Lue just can’t hack it. And if he’s going to be anything like his teacher Doc Rivers (i.e. the flaming dumpster fire that is the current L.A. Clippers), the Cavs need to send Lue to that wonderful farm upstate so he can frolic around with Jeff Van Gundy and Isiah Thomas.

JMay: Well, when asked to add my two cents to this article, I about leapt out of my desk chair to respond to the email in the affirmative. After all, I have steadfastly been one of CtB’s staunchest supporters of the “Fire Lue” movement. In fact, I was so much in support of this that I often said to the other fine writers here at CtB that I felt Lue should be fired regardless of the outcome of the 2018 Finals. That includes winning a championship. This was met with several “Are you crazy?” responses. Why, do you ask, would I want to fire a championship winning coach? After all, had he actually pulled that basketball shaped rabbit out of his hat a few weeks ago, he would have had two championships in four years.

Well, let me tell you why. As this first charge states against Lue, he is completely and utterly incompetent. It should be pretty clear to everyone that this is the case. I present you with my first piece of evidence that was so wonderfully pointed out above, Lue’s interviews. Every time Lue was placed in front of the camera fielding questions from the media his go to response was “Gotta watch the tape.” JMKP pointed this out already and I’d like to build upon that argument. Lue made this same statement so many times that we could all predict his response before games even started. My question to the defendant is, “WHY DO YOU ALWAYS NEED TO WATCH THE TAPE?”

What does Lue tell his players during the game when something isn’t working for them, either on offense or defense? Does he sit in the huddle and just say to everyone, “Well, guys. I don’t really know what to do for the rest of this game, I don’t have any tape in front of me.” Competent coaches are able to read the game as it’s happening and can then inform his or her players about what he sees as an outside observer, thus allowing his players to make adjustments. Instead, Lue stands on the sideline, slack-jawed, gazing off to eternity and, I presume, repeating his mantra “Gotta watch the tape,” ad infinitum until the final buzzer sounds. Color me unimpressed. I know a few 6-year-olds who can handle that responsibility.

Charge 2: Rotating Ineptitude

JMKP: Where to start. Shumpert over Delly. Hood and Clarkson over Cedi. Playing Jeff Green at center over Larry Nance Jr. Playing Isaiah Thomas and D-Rose at all.

Here’s a tribute to Cleveland Cavaliers legend Isaiah Thomas… pic.twitter.com/Tx8XBJYI0V

— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 8, 2018

Not only does Tyronn Lue play awful rotations, but also he has destroyed the confidence of many of his players. Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance, and George Hill seem like they have no idea what’s going on or what’s expected of them, and they seem like shells of what they could be.

And speaking of player confidence and development, I have a simple question. Who on this team seems better having been coached by Lue? If Utah and Boston can get something out of Jae Crowder, why did he look completely lost and out of place every single minute he was in a Cavaliers uniform?

Over the last several seasons, it really feels like Lue is trying to get fired by using some of his rotations. To start the second quarter in Game freaking SEVEN in the FINALS against the Warriors in 2016, he put in (the NBA player formally known as) Mo Williams and (offensive black hole) Iman Shumpert, seemingly on a whim. In the playoffs this year (including the Finals), he gave significant minutes to Jordan Clarkson, the player who posted the literal worst win share in the history of the NBA Playoffs.

lebron: maybe i can rely on my teammates in the nba finals

lebron’s teammates: pic.twitter.com/8TlW8tuE8p

— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) May 31, 2018

It isn’t just choosing one player over another. Tyronn Lue seems to play coach like I play NBA 2k17 — plugging and playing with different lineups on a whim. Who cares if my virtual team of Hill/Cedi/Smith/LeBron/Nance only played 2.6 minutes during the regular season? I like the idea and want to see what happens! However, the problem with Lue doing it is that basketball players are Real Human Beings™, and Real Human Beings™ need things like chemistry, familiarity, and playing time in order to be successful together. Video Game Lue™ doesn’t seem to understand this very basic coaching concept. He regularly jerks people in and out of the lineup, and did so all the way into the NBA Finals. No wonder Rodney Hood didn’t seem to know what he was doing — how could he play team defense with a group of guys he hadn’t played with for weeks?

And Cedi. Poor Cedi. Well, to Lue’s credit, it’s not like rookies in the NBA ever meaningfully contribute in the playoffs. Oh wait…

JMay: For the love of all that is holy on a basketball court, Lue cannot manage rotations. Seriously, he’s incapable. It’s just not the way his brain works. I mean, the man was quoted saying that he could not fit Korver into the first quarter of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals because the Celtics “threw [him] for a loop” by not playing Semi Ojeleye. SEMI OJELEYE! Can you believe that? Our rotations for the entire game were dictated by one choice made by Brad Stevens. I’m sure President Stevens woke up that morning to a jolt of brilliance given to him by the basketball gods showing him the way by not putting Semi Ojeleye in during the first quarter.

Brad Stevens: *doesn’t play Ojeleye*

Ty Lue: pic.twitter.com/DQBBb9swhN

— /r/NBA (@NBA_Reddit) May 24, 2018

If every basketball coach in the NBA could stump her or his opponent by just sitting someone unexpectedly and forcing the other team into bad rotations, coming away with a win, we’d regularly watch random guys getting benched at the 5:00 minute mark of the first quarter… The prosecution rests.

Charge 3: Mismanaging LeBron James

JMKP: Suppose you have several of the most transcendent basketball players in a generation. And suppose you know your team will make it to the playoffs for another consecutive year. You have several young players on your roster, and your best basketball players are getting a little long in the tooth; not that they are suffering from “diminishing skills,” but you know an older body can’t take the kind of beating it was used to in its 20’s.

What do you do?

If you’re Gregg Popovich, you purposefully restrict the minutes of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker, year after year, knowing that they will be healthy and productive each playoff season, well into the twilights of their respective careers. You also take the minutes available when sitting these great players to develop younger ones, like Danny Green, Patty Mills, Corey Joseph, Tiago Splitter, Kawhi Leonard, and Dejounte Murray. Sure, most of those players aren’t going to be All Stars, but developing them into solid role players gives your whole team their best shot at playing winning basketball.

If you’re Tyronn Lue, you have the ultimate cheat code with LeBron James. So you, Video Game Lue™, go into Options -> Settings -> Gameplay and try to set Stamina at 100. Then, you take your 15-year NBA veteran, cheat code, and GOAT and you run him into the ground, maxing out his minutes during the regular season. Come playoff time, your “secret plan” is to play your ultimate cheat code 48 straight minutes, night in and night out. Every time your cheat code is on the floor, you either point the joystick straight into the paint and try a siiiick layup; or when you see your GOAT is tired you try to master that siiiick shot stick for an almost-half-court-three. Who cares if you lose if your GOAT’s stat sheet is also siiiick. Oh, and you bury your rookies and stick by the guys “that you know” who peaked back in NBA 2k15.

If I was LeBron James, I would care about my longevity and durability, and I would demand that Lue be relieved. As a Cleveland fan, I want solid basketball from the greatest player of all time for the next five years (or more). Maxing out his minutes, night in and night out, is a recipe for disaster. Especially by someone stuck in a video game coach mode, covered in Doritos and wing sauce, clueless as to why his cheat code strategy isn’t good enough to beat his bros.

JMay: Who here doesn’t actually think LeBron’s minutes were mismanaged? I mean, Lue’s entire coaching philosophy since taking over for Blatt has been, “Just play LeBron. 48 minutes isn’t too many, right?” The result was a LeBron who could barely lift his legs or arms by the last five minutes of the fourth quarter. Seriously, it’s so difficult to watch the greatest of all time get run into the ground because his coach can’t manage to take him out for more than a minute in each half. Great job, Lue. I’m really impressed with this one.

Charge 4: Lack of In-Game Adjustments

JMKP: It pains me to say this. It really does. Isaiah Thomas was right about Tyronn Lue. Excuse me for a second while I throw up…

via GIPHY

Ok, I’m back. Remember after the Cavs blew a 21-point lead to the Orlando (our team doesn’t make any sense) Magic? Isaiah Thomas said, after the game, “we got to adjust throughout the game. They made adjustments, and it worked, and we just kept getting hit with the same thing, and we made no adjustments. And that’s been one of our biggest problems all year, is adjusting.” Of course, Tyronn Lue responded effectively, fully putting to doubt his ability to make adjustments on the fly: “that’s not true.”

As it turns out, Thomas was right. I feel for Thomas, going from President Stevens to I-have-no-idea-what-is-happening Tyronn Lue. I also see where Flat Earth Irving was coming from when he praised President Stevens as “an intellectual mind and an intellectual human being;” many saw that as Irving leveling a veiled criticism at Lue. Remember, this is the same Lue that didn’t play one of the greatest three-point shooters in NBA history, in the Eastern Conference Finals, because the Celtics didn’t play their eighth best player, Semi Ojeleye.

Ask yourself: do you ever wonder why the Cavaliers struggle so much with third quarters? And why the Cavaliers have blown so many leads over the last several seasons, sometimes against abysmally bad teams?

I’m a big fan of Occam’s Razor: the simplest answer is generally the best answer. And the simple answer begins and ends with Tyronn Lue.

JMay: This I’m sure is the final charge because it is linked to all three previous charges. Tyronn Lue cannot make in-game adjustments. He can’t respond to the benching of Semi Ojeleye, he can’t rework rotations if LeBron is unexpectedly winded after carrying nine other players through three quarters, he can’t come up with a new defensive strategy if the Cavs were getting shredded on that end. He can’t figure out how to get Korver open shots if his defender is dedicated to the lock-and-trail.

He regularly waits two to three possessions too long to take time-outs. He’s actually helped when he loses players to injury because it forces him to make fewer decisions. He couldn’t come up with a new strategy on the nights when the Cavaliers couldn’t throw a rock into the ocean from three.

Sure, he lucks into some decisions. But even blind squirrels find a nut every once in a while. Especially when those acorns are LeBron James sized.

Coda: Other Coaching Options

JMKP: The Cavaliers have had a terrible coaching carousel in Cleveland since Mike Brown left for the first time. Say what you want about Mike Brown, but he was the perfect coach for an early 2000 basketball team. I loved that team. They were gritty. They fought tooth and nail. They were five-guys-on-a-string. Sure, the offense playbook consisted of a series of pictures of LeBron James with a rocket ship attached to his back and an arrow pointing towards the hoop. But it was damn good basketball. Hands Down, Mans Down. No Regard for Human Life.

Then Byron Scott existed for a while. Mike Brown came back and we realized his coaching style didn’t jive with the new NBA. David Blatt was our fearless fighter pilot of a coach. To his credit, his game planning with LeBron and Delly during those first Finals games were some of my favorite moments of the LeBron 2.0 era; it’s just a shame Blatt was such a despised player-unfriendly figure. Now, the Cavs have Tyronn Lue, the protégé of basketball genius Doc Rivers (/sarcasm).

At last, the Cavs need a capable coach in Cleveland. A dream coach would be a 40-year-old Gregg Popovich. I would even try hiring President Stevens. The Cavs need a coach who understands the modern NBA and who knows how to speak to players, mano-a-mano. The Cavs need someone who develops rookies and won’t kill LeBron James with 48/minutes a game.

The Cavs need Becky Hammon.

She has learned from the best — Gregg Popovich. He described her in a recent New Yorker article as “the ultimate leader. Energy, juice, vitality.” Pop claims that she possesses both high basketball IQ and a great handle on the human element of the game. Ginobili describes her, “she’s committed, she’s passionate, she’s smart, she’s worldly.” Hammon is steeped in “the Spurs way,” a selfless style of basketball; and she saw greats like Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker set aside their own egos for the good of the team. As a coach for the Spurs Summer League team, she won the championship.

If successful, she might be a cerebral, youthful, and player-friendly coach in the mold of Gregg Popovich who can coach the Cavaliers for the next twenty years. She might be just the candidate to develop young players and help LeBron maintain a high level for many years to come. Also, at this point, a brown paper bag would be better than Tyronn Lue, so the bar for success wouldn’t be that high at first. She can learn and develop her own coaching style while bringing the experience she gained from the Spurs organization. And, if she’s a walking disaster, it would be easy to switch to someone stable and (somewhat) reliable while the Cavs performed another coaching search (Larry Drew, Jason Kidd).

Fortune favors the bold. The future favors the innovative. And winning NBA basketball is realized when you have a smart and capable head coach. Becky Hammon is exactly that kind of coach.

JMay: I’m not going to say much here as I don’t know too much about the other options out there. I add my vote to Becky Hammon, but heck, I’d trust my high school coach more than Tyronn Lue at this point. At least he knew when to sit me when I was exhausted.

In Closing

We, JMKP and JMay, on behalf of Cleveland Cavalier fans everywhere, swear to the above charges and declare that the bounds that hold Tyronn Lue to the Cleveland Cavaliers should be utterly dissolved.

The prosecution rests.

via GIPHY

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JMay
Editor
5 months 11 days ago

Okay, LeBron needs to make his decision ASAP. Screamin’ A is getting out of hand…

CLF
Guest
CLF
5 months 11 days ago

I mentioned this a few days ago. This is the move that doesn’t require PG or Kawhi in order to challenge gsw. I think they could get Chris Paul and all take a discount.

JRL
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JRL
5 months 11 days ago

Why would KD do that?

CLF
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CLF
5 months 11 days ago

I think the biggest thing would be changing the narrative of his career. LeBron did it by coming back to Cleveland. KD could do it by going to LA… it would present a challenge and a way to frame his career as one where he’s been the deciding piece if he wins in LA.

JRL
Guest
JRL
5 months 11 days ago

I think it would be the opposite.

If we were to take the ’16 finals, with GS losing to the Cavs and then KD going there for back to back championships, one could say KD made GS better – which is certainly did.

By jumping ships and going to LA, it would mean to me that he’s scared of LeBron/Kawhi/PG(or CP) teaming up and taking him/GS down. So he goes there before the tough gets going.

I would also hate KD even more than I do now if he was to make such a weak move AGAIN.

CLF
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CLF
5 months 11 days ago

I don’t think it would be perceived that way…. he’d be going from the best situation to a more tenuous situation. I think people will ask why he’s leaving for a more difficult situation, not that he’s scared of LBJ + whomever… because short of a big three between LBJ/Kawhi/CP3/PG13, they’re not beating GSW IMO.

Also, the hoopla and hype around KD and LBJ in LA would make those guys the story of the NBA all year. A chance for all eyes to be on LA with people asking, “will they or won’t they” is compelling TV and a huge challenge to get it done.

JRL
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JRL
5 months 11 days ago

We see it from different perspectives. I would consider KD as jumping ships to a better team while leaving GS a bit decimated.

I don’t see how GS, with it’s current roster minus KD would be considered top runner for the championship. I would say if Houston stays the same, I can see how GS would drop to 3-4 depending on Boston/LA(say if PG goes to LA too).

CLF
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CLF
5 months 11 days ago

GSW was a 73 win, two time NBA Finals, and a championship team before KD, opposite of “decimated” IMO.

They would be favored IMO regardless of what LA can possibly do.

JRL
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JRL
5 months 11 days ago

Decimated was the wrong word, although I still think GS would drop down a few spots by losing KD.

GS was exposed by the Cavs via attacking Curry non-stop. He can’t take it. Dray is an idiot and I bet losing KD will break him mentally. Specially after him being the one who made the call after they lost in ’16.

If Houston keeps everyone. LeBron, Kawhi and PG end up in LA and Boston comes back full force, I see GS dropping down to 3-4 spot as I mentioned before.

You even think GS would had made it to the finals last season without KD?

CLF
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CLF
5 months 11 days ago

I can’t see them dropping at all… don’t you think they’d be hungry to prove something w/o KD? I could see that re-energizing that group should KD leave.

No way I’d put them behind Boston or Houston. Betting public might skew odds for LA, but no way I’d bet on a team just cobbled together that has done absolutely nothing yet versus a group with a championship roster, coach, and front office.

To answer your question, yes… they would’ve made the the Finals w/o KD. I think the drudgery of repeating is what made them vulnerable this past year and make some people think they’re weaker than they actually were.

JRL
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JRL
5 months 11 days ago

I don’t see how they would have made it past Houston with a healthy CP and no KD. But we will never know 😉

CLF
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CLF
5 months 10 days ago

Last season CP3 was injured, so I was answering the question you ask. Houston with CP3 for all the games and GSW without KD for all the games would be interesting, but I think ultimately would lead to the same result…. tough call though for sure.

grover13
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grover13
5 months 11 days ago
I think the nicest way you could put this is that Lue was never so much of a “coach” as he was a “keep everyone in line for Lebron” figure, doing his best to be a Phil Jackson-like Zen Master. When Lebron goes, Lue absolutely MUST go as well, within 24 hours. Not as punishment, not as any kind of retribution….but he clearly has shown no ability whatsoever to develop young talent. Even if you made the case that he does have that ability- and merely shelved it to focus on appeasing Lebron- there’s no way the remaining players would respect such an about-face in tactics. They won’t take instruction from a guy who pandered to one player above all over the past four years. Then the question becomes who to replace him with. While the Becky Hammon idea seems “sexy” (no pun intended, seriously), I don’t think the league is ready for that. The only type of place where Hammon could succeed is in a place like, well, San Antonio- an organization with a strong culture that demands respect for the authority chain, no matter who it may be. Hammon can succeed in San Antonio because players know that… Read more »
JMay
Editor
5 months 11 days ago

Hammon is off the table anyhow. Just got promoted over in SA.

Nate Smith
Admin
5 months 11 days ago

That doesn’t preclude her from taking an HC job.

JRL
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JRL
5 months 11 days ago

Shoot that su

Jason
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Jason
5 months 11 days ago

It is odd to me that Bron is taking so long on his opt in/out decision.

MikeO
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MikeO
5 months 11 days ago

Windhorst has been saying it will be over the 4th of July weekend.

Excl
Member
5 months 11 days ago

I’m wondering if he’s given the Cavs some sort of ultimatum, such as “Trade me to Houston or San Antonio, or I will go to the Lakers in Free Agency”. Remember, once he’s opted out, it pretty much limits his options to LA or Cleveland. He can’t do a sign and trade at that point because the Cavs are over the tax apron.

JRL
Guest
JRL
5 months 11 days ago

I’m sure he’s waiting for other dominoes to fall first.

Excl
Member
5 months 11 days ago

That’s the other point of it. July 1 is sort of the Kahwi deadline too. If the Lakers can’t work a trade for him that includes Luol Deng by then, they would have to waive and stretch Deng and release the rights of a lot of other players to make cap room on their roster At that point, if they wanted Leonard, they would have to trade just about everyone on their roster to get salaries to match.

JMay
Editor
5 months 11 days ago

The Spurs know that if LA gets Kawhi it all but guarantees them LeBron. Or, at least, that must be the thinking. Hopefully their asking price is really high. It doesn’t help LA that I’m sure the other offers are a little heftier.

Excl
Member
5 months 11 days ago

JMay, I would hope the Spurs know that, and know what they are creating if they trade Leonard there. It would also make me wonder about the league itself. 10 years ago, The Celtics got Garnett and the Lakers got Pau Gasol in two sketchy trades. Then now, you’ve got the Celtics getting Kyrie and the Lakers potentially getting Leonard, in what would have to be looked at as equally sketchy trades.

JMay
Editor
5 months 11 days ago

I don’t think the League is going to fuss even a little about bringing two of its biggest superstars to one of its largest markets, unfortunately.

Excl
Member
5 months 11 days ago

No, I’m thinking more along the lines of, the league is pushing these moves to happen behind the scenes to get the big players in big cities. I’ll get my tin foil hat now.

JMay
Editor
5 months 11 days ago

This is our saving grace, I think. The Kawhi deal is the key. I hope, anyways. I think LeBron knows that he and George alone aren’t enough to get it done against the Warriors. Kawhi going to LA changes things. Unless he’s planning for next year when Kawhi can just sign outright. The thing that worries me is PG’s 3 episode documentary about his free agency. Doesn’t seem like an “I’m staying in OKC” type of thing…

Excl
Member
5 months 11 days ago

Even if the three of them sign outright next year, they would have to completely gut their team of just about every other player to get the three of them in at max deals. If they can get Kahwi in now, they could probably save at least a few of their current pieces. If it’s just the three of them with Lebron pushing 35, I don’t know if that team can do enough damage in the West.

daspec90
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daspec90
5 months 11 days ago

Paul George opting out.

JMay
Editor
5 months 11 days ago

Not unexpected regardless of where he goes. All this means is there won’t be a sign and trade for PG’s services.

JMay
Editor
5 months 11 days ago

Scotch
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Scotch
5 months 11 days ago
What on earth has cavs fans questioning whether Lue or Lebron has been the disaster? Listen…Lue has been a very very bad coach for 3 years. He won a championship by lucking into a few savvy veteran inserts…and he has had Lebron James on his team for 4 years. He is not some accentric genius who makes moves none of us fans understand that happen to work…he is a very very new head coach who doesn’t know what he’s doing yet. Is it possible Lue becomes a decent head coach in like 8 years if he is given the chance to continue to hone his craft? absolutely. But if you’re dan gilbert…you don’t waste another year of Lebron James, who is the best player to date the NBA has ever seen (there’s no argument here…he is so much better than any other player before he is like another species) to be wasted on a coach who is learning to manage minutes. You want a coach who knows how to manage minutes, who knows how to win titles, and who has experience developing young players. Lue fits zero of those criteria. If Lebron stays another season, and Lue is the head… Read more »
Slammin Sam
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Slammin Sam
5 months 11 days ago

Who said LeBron was a disaster? Lue isn’t a great coach but I think it’s fair to wonder how much control he has over LeBron’s minutes. Probably even fair to wonder how much control Lue had over anybody’s minutes. I will say, if LeBron leaves, I really hope Lue gets replaced. Bu I will also give Lue some credit for 2016. That can’t have been an easy locker room to manage. In the end I think that’s where his value was, simply managing a locker room with lots of huuuuuge egos.

Scotch
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Scotch
5 months 11 days ago

He clearly didnt manage that locker room well at all. Irving wanted out so bad he was willing to sit out a whole season

rick in boise
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rick in boise
5 months 11 days ago

Thinking aloud… just noticed that Carmelo is quite firm that coming off the bench is not going to happen. How many players feel entitled to be a starter, if only because they always have? Does JR play better as a starter? Plausibly… But Shumpert? If Lue’s strength is as a “player’s coach” doesn’t that constrain him into making rotations that keep egos intact? Or no matter how many bricks Clarkson tosses up… Lue can’t even bench him.

Lue clearly believes that guys need minutes to play into shape (cf. TT) and that takes away from others getting developmental minutes.

p.s.I have friends who are convinced that JR & TT got so many minutes is because they are Klutch clients. Now that would be scary ;)

JMKP
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JMKP
5 months 11 days ago

If that were true, seems like Lue only selectively cares about egos. Cedi missed a few shots at the end of the season and disappeared. Rodney Hood got tossed in and out of lineups like a ragdoll.

As long as JR, IT, D-Rose, TT, and Shump don’t get their egos hurt I guess?

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
5 months 11 days ago

In May I reported the Cavs intended to use the $2.4M option they added to Kendrick Perkins' contract for next season as a trade chip. Today they formally picked up the option. h/t @mcten for that last part https://t.co/oBTMMPYxyX

— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) June 28, 2018

Jason
Guest
Jason
5 months 11 days ago

At least we are still trying. Perk’s deal is purely for salary matching purposes. If we cannot findxa trade partner, we can waive him before it is guaranteed.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
5 months 11 days ago

Not looking good for the Cavs:

#Lakers, #Spurs again discussing possible Kawhi Leonard trade. @amathur90 with details. #NBA https://t.co/ZRdcA7cBdj

— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) June 28, 2018

Jason
Guest
Jason
5 months 11 days ago

Lakers are the only team who will offer a ton for Kawhi because for everyone else, it is a rental.

That gives the Spurs some leverage. As does the fact that Kawhi is this year’s PG13, whi was a sure thing to LA last year but now…….

Still, Wlwould you give tham the farm foe Kawhi or wait a year?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
5 months 12 days ago

29th ranked defense last season, most of the players that the Cavs have added since he has been the HC have seen their numbers go down drastically. What else can we say? He is a decent coach but he is not the best coach for this team IMO.

JRL
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JRL
5 months 11 days ago

I don’t even think he’s a decent coach. He has had LeBron (and Kyrie) picking up the slack for his shortcomings. ANY other half-smart NBA coach could do exactly what Lue has done for the last 2.5 seasons.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 11 days ago

Yeah….but I am not sure a guy like Scotty Brooks wins in 2016. There are some truly awful coaches in the NBA, much worse than Lue. However, Lue is not a guy that elevates his team above its talent. Unfortunately, that is the only way the cavs could have been competitive with the warriors this year or last year. I still don’t put much stock into Houston. I don’t think GS was playing to their capability for 75% of that series.

Taking everything into account, he is just mediocre. Lue was able to win, barely, with nearly equal talent on the backs of all time performances. He didn’t kill the cavs in 2016, nor did he really help them much tactically. In other words, given lesser talent, his ceiling is much more limited than a top tier coach.

JRL
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JRL
5 months 12 days ago

I would be ecstatic if Lue was fired and Becky was given the opportunity.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
5 months 12 days ago

I would be really happy too.

JRL
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JRL
5 months 12 days ago

Since the middle of last season ’16-’17 I was on the “Fire Lue” bandwagon. When it was obvious that Lue had stuck to his guns of overvaluing Shump and not fostering Derrick Williams or Liggins, I knew we were done.

He played Shump 1937 minutes and D. Williams 427. That right there is the sign of an incompetent coach. (https://www.whatifsports.com/nba-l/profile_team.asp?hfid=5&season=2016-17&view=2)

This year was even worst because we had two players on the bench – Cedi and Zz – who I’m absolutely certain that if coached, utilized and given the right opportunities, could/would had been better than JR and TT.

When you have two talented, smart and young players ready to learn/play. But you rather play veterans who are maxed out in their abilities, abilities which have been diminishing for the last two seasons, you are not a good coach.

It would had been insanely hard to beat GS this past season but NOTHING Lue did during the regular season helped the Cavs be more prepared for the series. A total waste of a coach and unfortunately Dan won’t fire him, specially if LeBron does leave.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
5 months 11 days ago

Lue isn’t going anywhere unless LBJ says I am staying, but only with a new coach. Translation: Lue isn’t going anywhere. DG isn’t throwing that much money away on another lost coaching cause if LBJ leaves. Not a chance. Essentially, what I am saying is this article, while cathartic, relevant in terms of bball analysis, and objectively correct in every point, is at its core, a purely academic exercise.

Lue is here to stay for better or….who am I kidding? It is for worse.

JMKP
Guest
JMKP
5 months 12 days ago

Exactly. And great post of those total minute numbers. They make me sad and frustrated all over agin…

JRL
Guest
JRL
5 months 12 days ago

Me too. I can’t stand Lue’s stupidities. I understand Dan is in for $35m, so yeah, big pill to swallow but I would have fired him midseason during ’16-17.

I’m not even excited for next year knowing he’ll still be here.

JB225
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JB225
5 months 12 days ago

I totally agree with you, I always like league pass but I’m not sure I wil do the same next season.

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
5 months 12 days ago

I think Lebron’s number one goal is to win rings. Philadelphia, if they can trade for Kawhi, would be the option. He could probably win like 3 or 4 straight rings there. Then come back to the land for his last years before retiring.

JRL
Guest
JRL
5 months 12 days ago

I’m okay with that.

Nate Smith
Admin
5 months 12 days ago

just not nearly enough shooting to beat Golden State on that team. maybe when they trade Ben Simmons for guy like Joe Ingles or something like that

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
5 months 11 days ago

Simmons is incredible dude. I would not put it past him and Lebron together to figure it out, jump shot or not. Lebron doesn’t actually need much to beat the warriors- mainly just competence which he has had none of in CLE. He would get so much from the supporting cast in Philly- they would probably eviscerate the Warriors.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
5 months 11 days ago

Simmons and filler for Kawhi. Who says no? Simmons has the potential, despite his shooting, to be an all timer. Maybe the most top tier talent SA could get. Kawhi, James, and Embiid with Saric and Covington as your core. That team could challenge. Certainly more than the cavs currently.

JRL
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JRL
5 months 12 days ago

Depends if Bellineli and Ilyasova stay.

JRL
Guest
JRL
5 months 12 days ago

BTW, I don’t know anything about the 76ers roster/contracts. I just know those two guys are extremely talented and helpful.

Nate Smith
Admin
5 months 12 days ago

They’re OK. Bellinelli can’t defend .

JRL
Guest
JRL
5 months 12 days ago

It’s hard to tell what would really work, given the fact that we are just spitballin here. But I would take those two guys over JR any day.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
5 months 12 days ago

Points two and four have always been his major flaws. The interpersonal stuff can be ignored if points two and four weren’t weaknesses. He has cost games because of rotations and failure to adjust in game. His game to game and series to series adjustments haven’t been god awful and in some cases they have worked brilliantly, but in the playoffs you don’t always have that kind of time or margin.

As to point three, impossible to say how much playing James heavy minutes is Lue’s direct choice versus LBJ. You could argue that blowing leads/playing down to opponents due to his problems with rotations/in game tactical schematic adjustments indirectly lead to overplaying James either by LBJ’s or Lue’s choice.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
5 months 12 days ago

I think this will give the Lakers the edge here.

Jason
Guest
Jason
5 months 12 days ago

Well, they have not ruled it out is a long way from doing it. I am sure if LA were to offer, say, Ball, Kuzma, Ingram, Hart, and Randle on a sign & trade for Kawhi & Pau, they would take it.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
5 months 12 days ago

Yeah, but if Leonard says that I will only play for the Lakers, it pretty much kills any negotiations with other teams. I’ve pretty much thought LeBron was gone at the start of last summer when Kyrie bolted, and I feel more convinced he is going to LAL now.

Raoul
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Raoul
5 months 12 days ago

You are thinking too hard.

EvilGenius
Admin
5 months 12 days ago

JRL
Guest
JRL
5 months 12 days ago

I’m okay with this.

Jason
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Jason
5 months 11 days ago

Me, too. I ain’t giving up on Hood (that one good Finals game offers hope) or Clarkson. First POs for JC and first time beyond round 1 for Hood.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
5 months 12 days ago

Richard Jefferson with some not-so-breaking LeBron news on his Snapchat account (with a Bill Russell Salute aimed at Channing Frye for good measure) pic.twitter.com/jV3wh7YgAs

— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 27, 2018

Excl
Member
5 months 12 days ago

RJ is a national treasure.

Raffy22
Guest
Raffy22
5 months 12 days ago

Lue’s one true strength (being able to relate well to the players) means that he is really a very good assistant coach. That’s his ceiling.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
5 months 12 days ago

He draws some great out of bounds plays more often than not. Does everyone of the. look great? No, but that is a true strength of his. That is why the stagnant offense that so often bogs down into to minimal and ineffective primary actions without effective secondary, or tertiary actions is so frustrating.

I get out of bounds plays often only involve a set of initial actions and motion but his are usually effective. So why doesn’t that translate to a more disciplined and complex half court offense? I don’t know. Maybe it is James. Maybe, other than a few guys, the team has a low bball iq and can’t run half-court sets with more than a primary action or primarily actions that flow seamlessly into secondary actions.

JMKP
Guest
JMKP
5 months 12 days ago

That’s a fair point. He is good at out of bounds plays.

I get the low basketball IQ of Clarkson. However, with guys that have seemed to excel in other situations (Korver, Hill, Crowder) that have high basketball IQ, I don’t think it’s a team thing.

That’s why Lue is frustrating. The inbounds plays are pretty solid. Everything else on offense doesn’t seem coached at all.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
5 months 11 days ago

Yeah it doesn’t seem to jive, does it? I do remember one article either in Blatt’s tenure or Lue’s first year quoting an anonymous source that said multiple guys on the team at the time can’t remember anything but the simplest sets.

However, there has been major turnover since then. I just don’t have an explanation for this other than Lue is incapable of installing sets quickly or that LBJ doesn’t want to play in a more complex offense where he is off ball and not creating everything for everyone. It is a true enigma that we likely will never have the answer to.

JMKP
Guest
JMKP
5 months 12 days ago

He could be a perfect example of “The Peter Principle” – people tend to get promoted to their level of incompetence.

CLF
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CLF
5 months 12 days ago

IMO, Lue’s problem is completely strategic. Playing JR over anybody. Not playing Korver enough. Not playing Nance enough. Too many minutes for LeBron. I’ll forgive him for Hood and Clarkson, but Cedi should’ve played at least over JR. I think this is easily correctable if Lue wouldn’t be so stubborn…. he needs a coach he can trust to defer to in decisions like these.

I do think Lue knows how to manage NBA personalities. I think he got LBJ to go to another level in the playoffs this year. The team look hungrier this year in the Finals. The team came together in spite of all odds. The defense shaped up a bit at the end of the year.

Bottom line, Lue needs to get his crap together on the Xs and Os and humble himself about what he believes vs. what he sees on the court.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
5 months 12 days ago

REPORT: LeBron James 'hesitant' to be first superstar to join Los Angeles Lakers in free agencyhttps://t.co/AX7Edytym9 pic.twitter.com/9i8PVWxCF0

— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) June 27, 2018

Jason
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Jason
5 months 12 days ago

FWIW, TMZ reporting Bronny is “likely” to enroll at Sierra Canyon in LA. Though it is not a done deal yet.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 12 days ago

Well whether he wants or means to or not, the whole league will once again be waiting for him to decide unless PG jumps the gun right away.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
5 months 12 days ago

Ty Lues big sin is what? Not being able to beat the warriors after they added Durant?

Nate Smith
Admin
5 months 12 days ago

The article. Read the article.

Jason
Guest
Jason
5 months 12 days ago

Amico Hoops has a story up saying Bron is going to release a Space Jan 2 trailer that will reveal his FA decision. Per rhe report, he will release the trailer on the Instagram App shortly after making the call on his player option. We should know this week-end.

This would seem to indicate:
1) A decision has been made.
2) Windy is completely wrong when he says Bron has not made a decision yet.

LeBron will reportedly use ‘Space Jam 2’ trailer to announce next decision

Announcing decision via a movie trailer sounds LA to me, but what do I know.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 12 days ago

This is shades of 2010. Yuck. Come LBJ, don’t make this a publicity stunt again.

CLF
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CLF
5 months 12 days ago

UH…. very LA, very corny….

running jumper
Guest
running jumper
5 months 12 days ago

We might’ve missed out on coach Fiz and we also lost another key guy in our championship team in Phil Handy. Dan won’t fire coach Lue, BUT(!!!) he can always hire an elite assistant coach. I think we can. I think we should. WE DEFINITELY SHOULD!!

believeLAND
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believeLAND
5 months 12 days ago

Lebron was absolutely incredible this season.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
5 months 12 days ago

Agree. Lue has strengths: Game planning, particularly defensively, and ooto plays. The players seem to like him, also.

His weaknesses are outlined above perfectly. Can’t develop players, can’t make in game adjustments, sucks with rotations. He is a great assistant coach.

Lue actively harmed the Cavs this year, both in the regular season and playoffs. They were at their best when he took sick leave, and when players get injured and he’s forced to play guys everyone knows is better than the injured player. He should have been relieved last year, during the regular season, during the playoffs, and right now. The fact that he’s going to be coaching this same team next year…

I’m going to be a fan of whatever team Becky Hammon coaches, and I’m going to be a fan of the Cavs while pretending Ty Lue isn’t the coach.

warriorsfan
Guest
warriorsfan
5 months 12 days ago

When Lue is worried that Cavs may miss the playoffs, he overplayed Lebron last 3 months
When Lue is worried that Cavs will lose a playoff game, he overplayed Lebron.

Basically, when Lue is worried, his answer is to overplay Lebron by limiting his practice time and having Lebron take possessions off and play wary of not getting into foul trouble. Too bad that greatest player of this generation has to play for a coach of Lue caliber, ironically the one he hired. If Lebron leaves, Lue should be fired but gets tricky if Lebron comes back. Is he going to be loyal to Lue to a fault that he will ask Cavs to retain Lue ?

bw..
Guest
bw..
5 months 12 days ago

I don’t know…I’m not trying to be a Lue defender. Yes, it would be great to have someone with the conviction to overrule Lebron, protect him from himself, but he’s going to steam roll most guys. It’s more the franchise as a whole that should be blamed, they didn’t have the back bone or stature to stand up to Lebron as much as it was needed.

JMKP
Guest
JMKP
5 months 12 days ago

Ya. It is difficult to know how much responsibility LeBron James actually has with coaching and GM decisions.

If you listen to David Griffith and read Jason Lloyd’s Blueprint, it’s easy to think that LeBron is more of a player than behind-the-scenes puppet master. Yet, a lot of other people seem to think he actually wields huge power and takes an active role in most Cavs decisions.

Given the evidence we have, I’d still say Lue is not a good coach. Maybe coaching the Cavs with a steamrolling LeBron is more difficult than the other 29 head coaching jobs…but Lue has proven he can’t do it.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
5 months 12 days ago

I don’t despise Lue as much as some of the others on here. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan. I’m just sort of ‘meh’ on Lue. He’s better than Mike Brown and Byron Scott, but that’s not really saying much. If there was an opportunity to upgrade, I’m all for it. I also would like some consistency at HC. I know it’s sort of the nature of the NBA, unless your are a more stable franchise like SAS or Miami. I have a feeling that if Bron leaves, Lue will be on the hot seat.

Mr. Green in the Library w/ Jrs Laid Pipe
Guest
Mr. Green in the Library w/ Jrs Laid Pipe
5 months 12 days ago

It would be nice to have an argument for Ty Lue presented. Harness the objectivity of a debate. Let the record show…I am firmly off the Ty Lue train.

JMKP
Guest
JMKP
5 months 12 days ago

I’d like to see that piece. I doubt someone would want to write it though.

We did aim to be objective in the piece – think of this as an objective piece in an adversarial system (how the US legal system is structured). The two sides have to stick to the truth, but they can still argue their own case.

I would be really interested in a pro-Lue piece. There might be something to him that my psycholgical biases are preventing me from seeing (like my side bias, confirmation bias, bias bias, etc).

JMay
Editor
5 months 12 days ago

For the record JMKP, I was not attempting objectivity, ha. My (sports) hatred for Lue runs real deep.

Jason
Guest
Jason
5 months 12 days ago

That was not an objective piece. That was a piece in support of one side of the argument. Advocating. Persuading.

An objective piece would present BOTH sides. If you are going to throw about journalistic terms, and be a writer, you should learn what those terms mean.

Just because you tried to be objective, does not make the piece an “objective” one.

Not that I disagree with the piece’s conclusion. I don’t. But objective it was not.

JMKP
Guest
JMKP
5 months 12 days ago
It really breaks down into a semantic argument. You seem to be using “objective” in the sense that implies non-partisan, balanced, airing of both sides. I was using “objective” in the sense that it was grounded in facts, that I used empirical evidence to present the case, with reason and logic. This sense of “objective” stands in contrast to subjectivity, divorced from objective truth, like post modernism and critical theory. To your point, no I was not airing both sides of the argument. However, I did try to bring in objectivity, i.e. facts, reason, logic, and evidence. We are both right, depending on the semantics. And I would caution you – “objective” is not a journalistic term per se. Rather, the search for “Objectivity” or “Objective Truth” is steeped in a deep philosophical tradition. You might have used it in your journalism class, but just know that the term has both broader denotations and connotations, depending on the context. Additionally, one does not need to always present “both sides” to be “objective” in a sense. For instance, there are not two sides to the “is the Earth flat” question, or any question that has been discoversd as objectively true through… Read more »
Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
5 months 12 days ago

Jason you contribute a lot here, but sometimes you sound so condescending: “If you are going to throw about journalistic terms, and be a writer, you should learn what those terms mean.” Why don’t you take a stab at an analytical piece then we can nitpick you? I would suggest also that “throw about” is poor phrase, and a better choice would have been “utilize.”

Nate Smith
Admin
5 months 12 days ago

Feel free to write one. I love the guy. He coached my favorite team of all time. But he seemed completely overwhelmed last season.

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
5 months 12 days ago

A hypothetical jury would vote 9-0 in favor of Ty Lue’s conviction on all counts as charged. Sentencing should be a lifetime of being forced to watch tape of his facial expressions and total clueless demeanor during games on a continual loop. And the background sound on auto repeat: I have to watch the tape. I have to watch the tape. I have to watch the tape. Ty Lue defines ineptitude.

Jason
Guest
Jason
5 months 12 days ago

You know where I stand.

I would take anyone over Lue. Coach Becky? Absolutely. Either Van Gundy? Yep.

Lue must go.

Jason
Guest
Jason
5 months 12 days ago

Come on Gilbert, “Be aggressive.”

Dear Ty: it is hard to olay with pace all the time when you play Bron 40 minutes a night. He cannot play fast for that long.

—Captain Obvious

newnomad
Guest
newnomad
5 months 12 days ago

before I give you guys a grade on your write up —-I need to “watch the film —tapes “—–this is ty’s– ( unfortunately identity —clueless in games )—” play with pace “–is another pat answer and make sure we don’t COACH / MENTOR / GROOM / GROW YOUNG TALENT—LET THEM WASTE AT THE END OF THE BENCH ——while other coaches named POP / KERR—-are regularily playing the entire roster every game getting them playoff ready —–hey I have coached high school /basketball for 30 + yrs —UNCLE DAN I AM AVAILABLE !!!

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