Unless you’re Gregg Popovich, the life of an NBA coach is an unforgiving one.
When things go wrong, it’s always your fault. You didn’t make the right adjustments, you made curious mid-game substitutions, your team isn’t responding to you. Now, sometimes these types of critiques are merited. However, if a team takes on an ugly loss, the head coach is typically the main scapegoat.
It’s no different for Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt. Having already dealt with plenty of skepticism during his first year in the NBA, Blatt came under fire once again after Monday night’s 99-92 Game 1 loss to the Chicago Bulls. The bout featured a lot of things going wrong for Cleveland, as the offense was disjointed and struggled often, while the defense seemed to let Mike Dunleavy and Pau Gasol roam free and hit almost every shot they took.
Blatt was criticized for failing to make adjustments to Chicago running successful pick and rolls all night, as well as some of the lineups he put on the floor. Any attempts to change things up for the better came too late, resulting in Cleveland’s first loss of the postseason. Sure, some blame could be laid at the feet of LeBron James, who put forth an underwhelming effort. But, as mentioned, coaches always take the brunt of the criticism.
After Game 2, though, it’s only fair to give Blatt the accolades he deserves.