Posts Tagged ‘byron scott’

Byron’s Problems: Edition #1

Friday, November 9th, 2012

This year’s Cavaliers average 22.7 years of age. The oldest player on the roster is Anderson Varejao, and he’s only 30. Admittedly, Luke Walton is 32, but I’m doing my best to pretend he isn’t on this team. Regardless, the Cavs are a young team. Young teams make mistakes. Enter Byron Scott. Occupation: coach. Favorite mode of communication: yelling. Byron Scott is not known for going easy on his players, and he’s going to have plenty to get angry about this year. Just five games in, Coach Scott has seen it all: bad inbounds defense that leads to a game-winner, myriad turnovers, and Tristan Thompson’s insatiable desire to block mid-range jumpers, to name a few. In honor and respect of Byron’s ability to mold this young squad to his will, we’ll be highlighting the most debilitating issue this team faces semi-weekly, and speculating on what Coach will do about it.

Through five games, the Cavs’ biggest problem has been free throws. As a team, they’re shooting 61. 2 percent (74-of-121). That’s last in the NBA. Unsurprisingly, the main contributor to this debauchery of basketball fundamentals is the much-maligned Tristan Thompson, who’s hit on exactly 50 percent of his free throws this year. (The positive outlook on this: Shaq never hit his free throws either! The negative: Tristan doesn’t do anything effectively other than rebound on offense, and hasn’t improved from last year.) But to be fair, this is to be expected from Tristan. More alarmingly, Dion Waiters has hit only 6-11 free throws so far. As a player with a reputation as a shooter, that isn’t good enough, especially for someone who figures to be on the floor at the end of close games quite often. Even Kyrie Irving, the Anointed Son, is only hitting on 78 percent of his free throws so far. The average free throw percentage in the NBA usually hovers around 75 percent. If the Cavs had hit on 75 percent of their free throws this year, 16 more points would have been scored. That’s 16 points left on the table.

It’s safe to assume that approximately 10,000 free throws will be attempted in practice this week. Allen Iverson’s emotions on the subject notwithstanding (yes, I’m aware that reference is about three years past its expiration date), Coach Scott knows practice makes perfect. There isn’t much else to do, anyways, when it comes to free throws. As opposed to defensive rotations or the pick-and-roll, repetition is really the only path to improvement. Let’s hope things pick up. In the meantime, it makes me smile to imagine Dion Waiters shooting free throw after free throw while Byron stands and screams in his ear about FIFTY FOUR PERCENT. Practice is supposed to make perfect, but let’s just hope practice makes three of four.

(Stats from:

Was Jennings’s Shot Good?

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Byron Scott certainly doesn’t think that Brandon Jennings’ buzzer-beater should have been counted: “Looking at it again in the locker room, the shot shouldn’t have counted.” The issue is not really about whether or not the shot left his hands before the game was over, but rather if the clock started late on the inbound pass. Looking at the play, it does seem unlikely that .7 seconds was enough time for the play to take place. Especially when you look at Jennings’ release, a peculiar sort of slingshot motion. Of course, the Cavs are now 1-2, and no amount of commiseration or complaining will change that, but this kind of stuff is a crucial part of Cleveland fanhood. Here’s the link.

Starting Five Decided

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Byron Scott decided the starting five today. Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters in the backcourt, Alonzo Gee at small forward, and Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao in the frontcourt. Not really a big surprise- Byron clearly decided to play it safe. I think if Gee struggles in  a starting role, we could see C.J. Miles or Omri Casspi grabbing a game here and there as the starting small forward. Here’s the link.

Varejao: Center?

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

The Cavs have an interesting situation at hand with the addition of Tyler Zeller. Anderson Varejao has been playing center in recent years, but Zeller’s legitimacy and history at the 5 should move Andy back to the 4. Will he produce at the same level? Will he be better? A nice piece from Hoopsworld attempts to answer the questions surrounding this move. Here’s the link.

Byron Scott Will Remain

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

The Cavs exercised their team option on Byron Scott, retaining him for the 2013-2014 season. This is great news, even if it is hardly a surprise. Scott is a fantastic coach, has a history of reaching young point guards (Chris Paul, anyone?), and working his team hard. He preaches tough-nosed defense and running the ball on offense. His commitment to this team is really amazing. If you remember, Byron Scott was signed by the Cavaliers as a recruitment tool for Lebron James. He ended up with Ramon Sessions. Yet he persevered, and when the Cavs struck gold in the next draft, he coaxed a great season out of his star young point guard. Here’s to Byron Scott, our coach of the present and future. And here’s the link.

Waivers and Waiters Abound

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Remember when these guys were important to the Cavs?

The Cavaliers waived Kevin Anderson and Justin Holiday today, in a less-than-shocking personnel move. There are now three spots left. Samardo Samuels seems to have all but locked up one of the spots, so we’ll see how the other two fall out. Here\’s the link. 

Another game recap from last night’s debacle againsst Milwaukee, this time from the Plain Dealer. Byron Scott on benching Dion Waiters:  “I took him out in the second half because I drew up a play, guard ran the play, he messed it up. To me that was a lack of focus so I figured he didn’t need to play the rest of the game.” Classic. Here’s the link.

Byron Scott, Unabashed Enthusiast

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

The New York Post interviewed Byron Scott recently about the Knicks. At the end of the interview, he had a word or two about the Cavs. He said he expected some modicum of improvement. Big expectations aren’t really his thing, and never have been.  Here’s the link.

Cavs media day talk sets the tone for guard-centric season.

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

[I’m] excited. Motivated. Any word that explains, that expresses my joy and the way I feel about getting back on the floor, that’s the word I’d use. These past four years I’ve wanted to play, I’ve wanted the opportunity to get out there but it just hasn’t been my time. But I feel like now is my time and I’m ready for it.

Daniel Gibson on Cavs media day.

The last time I posted on Cavs: The Blog, I gave my take on Daniel Gibson’s shot at redemption this season as he enters his fifth year with the Cavaliers. Exactly one week later, several Cavs players, including Gibson himself, echoed similar sentiments in front of dozens of reporters.

For those of you who missed it, yesterday was the Cleveland Cavaliers’ annual media day in Independence, Ohio. The stage was used by a handful of the team’s veterans and new coach Byron Scott to talk about how motivated they are this season, on a mission to prove many of the naysayers wrong.

“We’re gonna come in and work hard and we’re gonna shock some people this year,” J.J. Hickson told reporters at the Cavaliers’ practice facility. Antawn Jamison showed similar determination, telling the media, “We’ve still got enough talent to win and perform at a very high level.”

However, while many of the media day player quotes revolved around the idea of being doubted this season, quite a few Cavaliers touched upon the importance of new coach Byron Scott’s offense. Second year guard Danny Green stressed that he likes Scott’s mentality, stating that he’s “all about running and getting up and down the floor” like he did in college. Similarly, two of Cleveland’s more athletic players, J.J. Hickson and Christian Eyenga, both acknowledged that running is a big part of their game and that they believe Coach Scott’s offense will complement those abilities, which is worth noting since they both got a taste of what to expect this year in Las Vegas Summer League action.

As the quotes about what to expect in a new up-tempo offense kept surfacing, Cleveland’s guards continually mentioned one another and how they thought they could do big things this season. Anthony Parker noted his high expectations for Daniel Gibson this year, telling reporters, “He’s been in an unfortunate circumstance the last couple years, but we all know his talent level and what he can contribute, and I look forward to him really having a big year this year.”

On the other hand, Mo Williams expressed some lofty goals for his old teammate, yet new Cleveland addition, Ramon Sessions. “I expect a lot out of [Ramon],” Williams told the media on Monday. “I expect him to play big minutes, I expect him to play a big part,” he elaborated.

Despite the fact that Daniel Gibson saw very limited action late in the season and in the post-season last year and that Ramon Sessions was with a different team altogether, it seems that last season’s starting backcourt tandem has already warmed up to the idea of playing extended minutes alongside the two guards. And why not? If Cleveland can throw out a team that includes at least two guards capable of pushing the basketball as Byron Scott envisions, the Cavaliers could have many of the league’s more traditional teams on their heels this season.

While it is known that Byron Scott will start Mo Williams, it will be interesting to see how he uses the team's other guards.

With this idea of exploiting potential mismatches in the back of his mind, it will be interesting to see how Coach Scott uses his trio of quick and talented, yet undersized, guards. Perhaps he will spend a small chunk of each game using a three guard set, something common amongst the college ranks yet rarely used in the NBA.

When asked if he had any doubts on whether or not the trio of Mo Williams, Ramon Sessions, and himself could be successful on the court this year, Daniel Gibson told Cavs announcer Fred McLeod, “Not at all… You can think about us having to guard [bigger guards], but at the same token those guys have to come on the other end and guard us.” Gibson followed this up by stating that in a faster offense it will be more difficult for larger guards to chase him around, assuring Fred “I definitely think that we can be successful with us three, because we go hard.”

Ramon Sessions echoed similar sentiments, stating that, “Me, Boobie Gibson, and Mo, we’re three explosive, fast guys, so it’s going to be tough for teams to defend.”

However, just because Cleveland’s guards are all on board with the idea of a smaller offensive front, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Byron Scott will continually look to implement it throughout the course of the season. There’s no doubt that a lineup featuring quick guards in certain moments of the game has the potential to exploit slower teams, but it could come at the expense of the defense. Additionally, Coach Scott has yet to reveal his starting shooting guard, telling media day reporters “I have the starters in my head.”

Regardless, it’s nice to see the current group of guards band together and focus on executing the team’s new offense as they prepare for the new season. After all, as Mo Williams put it yesterday, “This is the hand [we were] dealt, and you’ve got to play the best you can.”

But in the end, it will be up to Byron Scott to show us whether or not his trio of guards is a true three of a kind or simply a trick up his sleeve.

Make sure to join the discussion at Numbers Don’t and Real Cavs Fans!

Fifth year senior: Daniel Gibson’s shot at redemption.

Monday, September 20th, 2010

As you know i was born and raised in Houston, TX. Never once stayed outside the state for more than two weeks and the time I did, that was for basketball. But after two years of college at the University of Texas I decided to make the jump. You can just imagine how fast my mind was racing going to a city so many miles out of my comfort zone not knowing one single person. But I thank God it was Cleveland! Because From day one the city embraced me and made me feel like I was home. My Second HOME. And as time went on I began to see why we connected. Cleveland is a never die city, city of loyalty, hard-workers, passion, desire, and toughness. A lot of the same characteristics I have in me and that inspired me. So I made a promise to myself that every day I stepped foot on that basketball court I would show the world what Cleveland was all about. Leaving everything i had on the court. So no matter what obstacle was placed in front of me, I would bust right through it. No matter how high, I would get over it. Or how wide I would get around it. N I hope I did that and will continue to do that. I said that to say, I know right now emotions are high, and people are confused about the way things went down. But I’m here to say DO NOT FORGET THAT WE STILL HERE. and WE GONE GRIND!!!! The Cavaliers haven’t went anywhere, just lost a piece. Everything in life happens for a reason, Some which we dont understand and never will. Somethings we cant control, But the thing we can control is our passion and our love for city of Cleveland and state of OHIO. And that every single night we take that we floor We Will represent. Blood Sweat and Tears. We will go hard. Just like you. From the bottom to the top, this organization is committed to winning and we wont stop now… Cant stop now. I LOVE you. We Love YOU. And together We gone make it Happen. O H I O. Hang in there…



Daniel Gibson started this off-season on the right foot with the Cleveland fanbase, writing them a letter showing his appreciation for the way the entire city supported him throughout the first four seasons of his professional career. For the Cavalier faithful, who have shouted “shoot, Boobie, shoot!” ever since his rookie year, this only further endeared Gibson to them.

After spending his entire life in Texas, Daniel Gibson’s road to Cleveland was one filled with great opportunity and unfamiliarly low expectations. As a McDonald’s All-American recruit in high school, former Big 12 Freshman of the Year, and AP Honorable Mention All-American in his second and final year of college hoops, Gibson was used to all of the attention. But that would change when he was drafted by the Cavaliers in the second round of the 2006 draft, with less than only 20 players taken in the remainder of the draft. Although Gibson was able to ink a two-year guaranteed deal relatively quickly, he had to be a little nervous knowing that second round picks aren’t guaranteed a contract and that the Cavs already had a first round selection that year in Shannon Brown.

On the court Gibson started out slow, which was likely a mixture of those low expectations and being stuck behind veteran guards Larry Hughes, Eric Snow, Damon Jones, and David Wesley. But instead of sulking, he realized that there was a lot to learn from those players:

On and off the court, Eric Snow and David Wesley have helped me out a lot as a young guard. But another guard, Damon Jones, has really been great, too. Our relationship is basketball, but he keeps me relaxed. When I’m out there on the floor, he tells me what I’m doing right and wrong. But he also always keeps me laughing and smiling. Sometimes you can be way too tense out there and he keeps you in a relaxed state of mind. And that’s really when I perform at my best.

And boy did Daniel Gibson look relaxed in his coming out party during game 6 of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals in Cleveland. When most rookies would look shook, Gibson helped the Cavaliers close out the Detroit Pistons with 31 points on 5-5 three-point shooting, leading Cleveland to their first ever NBA Finals berth.

There was once a time when Daniel Gibson was a large part of the Cavaliers' post-season gameplan.

The following year expectations were raised to a level that Gibson was used to, only on a stage far bigger than anything he experienced in Texas. But, just as he had done everywhere else in his career, Daniel Gibson rose to the challenge and played up to his potential. He averaged 10.4 points, 2.5 assists, and 2.3 rebounds per game in 30.4 minutes per contest, all of which are current career highs. Gibson also shot a phenomenal 44.0% from three-point range, his second best career percentage, despite taking 4.6 threes per game, a high volume of shots which marks a career-high as well. Ultimately, one of the only things that went wrong for Gibson in his sophomore season was an ankle injury which cost him 24 games.

But it seemed that after his second season in the league, Daniel Gibson found himself shackled to the bench courtesy of head coach Mike Brown, was known to prefer taller, more physical guards. After signing a new contract in 2008, one which made him a millionaire, Gibson suddenly saw less action for the Cavaliers. Seemingly healthy after having ankle surgery, Gibson went from averaging a career-best 30.4 minutes per game in that 2007-08 season to averaging 23.9 minutes per contest in 2008-09 and only 19.1 minutes per game last season.

The worst part of the entire ordeal was the fact that it wasn’t as though Gibson’s skills were diminished and there was a clear cut reason for the dip in minutes. Over the last two seasons he averaged roughly the same amount of points per minute while cutting down on his turnovers and personal fouls per minute. And then there’s the shooting. Last season Daniel Gibson shot a career-best 46.6% from the field and a career-high 47.7% from three, which was only good enough for third best in the NBA.

Fans clamored for “more Boobie,” not just because of the grade school humor, but because they wanted to see the passionate guard in action. They cited his superior shooting, improved post and on-ball defense, and great feel for the game as reasons why he should’ve seen more time. Yet he remained seated, experiencing a steady dip in minutes over the last couple months of last season, seeing only 23 total minutes of action in five of the team’s 11 playoff games. Twenty-three total minutes. In the same amount of team post-season games (11) in the 2008 playoffs Daniel Gibson played a total of 284 minutes, checking into each and every game. His least amount of post-season action came the following year, when he totaled 172 minutes played. Yet somehow he was only useful for 23 minutes in the 2010 playoffs, setting a new dubious post-season low.

Whether it was because of Mike Brown or other circumstances, Daniel Gibson understands that last season’s dip in minutes despite an increase in efficiency wasn’t exactly evenhanded. “I definitely feel like I didn’t get a fair chance,” Gibson explained, speaking of last season. However, with a new coach and offensive system in town, he’s ready to move on. He elaborates, expressing that “as a person and a player I continue to work and have faith in God and the system we’ve put in that it will turn… I’m ready to play and ready to help.”

And it’s this kind of attitude that has new coach Byron Scott taking notice. “Number one, he can shoot. He can make shots. Number two, he’s tough. Boobie’s a little warrior,” Scott raved when speaking of the fifth year guard.

On the other side of things, Daniel Gibson should be very happy with everything that Byron Scott has talked about since becoming the head coach of the Cavaliers. Not only has he stressed a faster paced, up and down fastbreak offense, but he has also mentioned playing two ball-handling guards at once. In addition to Mo Williams and Ramon Sessions, this could mean that Gibson will be one of the focal points of a small backcourt, whereas he was just another undersized guard in Mike Brown’s system. It’s with this notion in mind that Daniel Gibson has a lot of hope for the upcoming season:

We still have a group of guys who have a lot of talent — including myself. I haven’t had the chance to show it the last couple of years but I feel like I can be a key asset in the right situation. I think we have a great group of guys ready to do something big.

And perhaps this is the year that Gibson once again gets to do something big. With a new coach, a new system, and even a new bride and newborn son at home this season, fans of Northeast Ohio can expect new life from one of their favorite players and the second longest tenured Cavalier on the roster.

Make sure to join the discussion at Numbers Don’t and Real Cavs Fans!

Cavaliers show interest in Byron Scott: A candidate profile.

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Yesterday I reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers are interested in former Hornets coach Byron Scott as a candidate for the vacant head coaching position. Scott was fired only nine games into this season after a disappointing 2009 postseason and start to the 2009-10 season.

But what would it mean if Scott were to take over as head coach in Cleveland? Well, in the first of what will be a couple of free agent coach profiles, we’ll take a look at Byron Scott, analyzing his past gigs, coaching style, strengths, and, most importantly, weaknesses.

First, Byron Scott has a career 352-355 (.498) record with a 33-24 (.579) record in the playoffs. His first gig was with the New Jersey, inheriting a 31-51 Nets team and taking them to two straight NBA Finals appearances in his second and third season. He would be fired halfway through his fourth season and relocate to New Orleans to coach the Hornets the following year. In five full seasons with the Hornets, Scott would win 200 regular season games, including a 56-26 (.683) 2007-08 campaign that netted him Coach of the Year honors.

Without further ado, here is a look at what Byron Scott would mean to the Cavaliers, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly style.

Il Buono

In his two previous coaching gigs, Byron Scott entered the arena like Clint Eastwood, commanding respect while shooting the hats off of any players unwilling to buy into his philosophy. Prior to Scott’s arrival in New Jersey, the Nets had one winning season in the previous six seasons and hadn’t had a 50 win season since 1976, when they were still part of the ABA. However, it took Scott only two years to churn out a 50 win season and he compiled a 101-63 (.616) record in his second and third years combined.

Byron Scott has had great success forging teams in both New Jersey and New Orleans.

It’s a process that Ryan Schwan of Hornets247 calls “forging a team.” Last season he claimed that “I don’t think there is a lot of question that Byron Scott has been successful at building team identity and cohesiveness.” He went on to state that “the players who got time were the players that would buy into what he was selling.  Knuckleheads were not tolerated.  That’s Byron Scott.  Even during the struggles this season, did anyone see real cracks in the teams facade?”

Over the years, it has been this trait, Scott’s seemingly effortless ability to mend a broken team and set them on the right path, that has stood out as his best quality. Furthermore, we as fans can only speculate how he would do if he inherited a good situation, such as a 61 win team and title contender, assuming LeBron James re-signs. Such a great opportunity could give Scott the boost he needs to lead a team back to the Finals, much like he did in 2002 and 2003.

Additionally, Scott has a reputation for being a good “player’s coach.” He is able to command respect while maintaining a good report with his best players. Chris Paul had a great relationship with Scott and was reportedly upset when he was fired, citing his great communication and claiming “he was always straight-forward with you from Day One.”

If Paul believed in Byron Scott even after he was fired, then Scott may be a coach that can command the respect of LeBron James. One thing’s for certain; whether or not he would be successful in Cleveland, Byron Scott would not tolerate his team ignoring his pleas to foul the opponent in the final minutes of an elimination game.

Lastly, Byron Scott has a good history of offensive efficiency while coaching ball-dominant players such as Jason Kidd and Chris Paul. Granted those players are legitimate point guards, whereas LeBron operates the offense in a point forward capacity, but Scott would likely be able to achieve offensive efficiency with James dominating the ball while making sure not to revert to 20 second isolation plays down the stretch.

During the 2007-08 season, when Scott was crowned Coach of the Year, the Hornets were tied for 2nd in terms of offensive efficiency, whereas the Cavaliers were tied for 17th. The Hornets were also 1st in offensive efficiency that postseason, while the Cavs finished 14th out of 16 teams.

Both Kidd and Paul thrived offensively under Byron Scott, averaging more points and assists per game with Scott as their head coach than in the following seasons with their team. One would only hope that if Scott were to take over the LeBron-led Cavaliers that he would be able to gain his respect, smooth out any issues, and correct the bad offensive habits that the team has practiced over the past few seasons, namely relying solely on LeBron’s isolation during crucial stretches of the game.

Il Cattivo

However, while Byron Scott’s offensive efficiency has been good for the most part, particularly in the 2007-08 season, his pace is cause for concern. After watching Cleveland’s offense struggle in a slow, halfcourt set over the past few postseasons, fans have been clamoring for a quicker pace. This growing ideology of breaking LeBron and his teammates free from the chains of a slow offensive pace isn’t exactly new, as even LeBron himself has complained about it in the past. “We don’t get easy buckets… easy buckets can always help, it doesn’t hurt,” James expressed back in early 2007. Even Larry Hughes chimed in, adding “I definitely think we should run more, it suits our team.”

Byron Scott's slow offensive pace should be cause for concern.

That was during the 2006-07 season, when the Cavaliers were tied for tied for 21st in the offensive pace rankings. In the three seasons that followed, the Cavs were ranked 23rd25th, and 25th in pace, a measure of a team’s possessions per game. Under Byron Scott, the Hornets didn’t fare much better. The last full season that Scott coached, 2008-09, the Hornets were ranked 28th in offensive pace, only a two spot improvement from the season before, when the Cavaliers were ranked 23rd and LeBron James still wasn’t too pleased with the pace of the offense.

While it hasn’t hurt Cleveland’s regular season success, such a slow pace has hindered the Cavaliers in the postseason. For instance, after averaging 102.1 points per game in the regular season this year, the Cavs scored only 95.2 points per game in the six game series versus the Boston Celtics. Typically a slower pace aids the defense, which explains why the Cavaliers let up only 95.6 points per game in the regular season, but the Celtics were able to score 100.5 points per game in the eastern conference semifinals. Ultimately, the Celtics, unlike the Cavaliers, were able to get out and run the last three games of the series, outscoring Cleveland 53-25 in fastbreak points, overcoming a 2-1 series deficit with three straight victories.

Ultimately, a faster pace isn’t absolutely necessary, as the Spurs were ranked 27th in offensive pace the year they beat the Cavaliers in the Finals, but there is a public perception amongst the fans, analysts, writers, and even the players that the Cavaliers need to push the tempo offensively. In fact, many fans and analysts, such as Charles Barkley, wanted Mike Brown out of Cleveland because he slowed down the offense. With this perception in mind, welcoming Byron Scott to Cleveland would be setting him up for failure in the eyes of fans with lofty offensive expectations. If everything doesn’t go smooth right off of the bat, fans could turn on him quickly.

Il Brutto

These are the very ugly concerns I have when it comes to the prospect of Byron Scott manning the Cavaliers. The first one deals with Scott’s game-planning. Many fans know that one of Mike Brown’s biggest weaknesses was his inability to make in-game adjustments. However, in that regard, Byron Scott makes Mike Brown look like an impromptu genius.

I think the aforementioned Ryan Schwan explained it best when he said that Scott’s ego “allows [him] to be certain his way is best.  It makes him certain that what he is doing is right.  That may allow him to sleep well at night and control the team, but it also makes him stubborn and inflexible.  That inflexibility shows up in his gameplanning – and has in every year he’s been with the Hornets.  Byron installs a gameplan during training camp, and from that moment on, it will not change.”

There were rumors in New Jersey that Scott very rarely focused on game film or pre-game adjustments and instead opted to hammer away at his pre-season gameplan. Part of this inability to properly adjust his gameplan includes the snubbing of younger players. As Kevin Pelton put it, “ultimately, though, Scott sealed his own fate with his reluctance to trust young players.”

This is another shortcoming that mirrors those of Mike Brown, who refused to insert J.J. Hickson into a more serious role until general manager Danny Ferry forced him to. Unfortunately, even then, Hickson became an afterthought in those final three losses against Boston, averaging only 3.0 minutes per game, despite playing 15.7 minutes per contest in the first three games of that series.

Keeping with the Mike Brown theme, Scott’s first and only two exits from coaching have come because his team had seemingly quit on him. In fact, charting Byron Scott’s progression with each of the two teams he has coached is quite interesting. Both times he inherited an average to below average team and took them to new heights within a matter of a few seasons. However, in each instance, Scott peaked in a matter of a couple seasons and then it wasn’t long before he was out of a job. Charting Byron Scott’s rise and fall as a coach is like drawing a rough outline of the Laffer Curve on a napkin.

The "Scott Curve."

While a declining record is typical for most coaching gigs that end in a coach losing their job (excluding Mike Brown), for it to happen so quickly suggests that teams have quit on Scott. And many agree that’s exactly what happened in New Jersey. Bill Simmons believes the Hornets lost faith in Scott as well, citing that New Jersey incident first, claiming “the Nets practically revolted against Byron Scott four years ago. So there is a precedent.”

Simmons watched a game at the start of the 2008-09 season in which he felt that the Hornets players didn’t particularly like Coach Scott. He explained that there are several nonverbal communication signs present when a player respects his coach and looks hungry to learn. And, even though Chris Paul respected Scott and backed him publicly as I mentioned earlier, Simmons felt that he didn’t truly buy into what Scott was teaching on the court. Bill Simmons summarized by claiming that he “mistakenly believed that Chris Paul and Scott had an ‘A’ relationship [total respect] but in the second half of Monday’s game, it was revealed that they were a ‘C’ [‘I’ve just had it with this freaking guy’].”

Ultimately, while the revolt wasn’t immediate in either case, I’m not so sure that the Cavaliers should hire a coach that LeBron James could show even the slightest disdain for in three to four years. What makes this especially risky is that if James does re-sign, it’s very likely that he would sign another three year deal in order to maximize his contract flexibility. If Scott eventually lost his players like he has with other teams, this would leave the Cavaliers in the same situation they’re in now, with a head coaching vacancy synced up with LeBron’s free agency. Believe it or not, it’s not an attractive situation for the team to find themselves in.

In the end, Byron Scott offers many good qualities and may be the best realistic option out there for the Cavaliers. However, if he cannot capture the respect and attention of LeBron James while restructuring the nature of Cleveland’s postseason offensive stagnation, then the Cavaliers wouldn’t be any better off with Byron Scott at the helm.

Make sure to join the discussion at Numbers Don’t and Real Cavs Fans!

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