Soon after posting my article on the Cleveland Cavaliers – playing without both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving – and their stunning Game 2 victory over the Atlanta Hawks last Friday, a tweet was sent my way with some feedback. Why, said user asked after reading all of the reasons why the Cavs’ blowout win was such a surprise, was there no mention of coach David Blatt?
Now, to be fair, I’ve noted the credit Blatt deserves a few times in the past couple months. At the same time, the point wasn’t wrong. Why would high praise be doled out to everyone in a short-handed, but dominating win except for the team’s head coach?
If you Google his name, you’ll note the kudos for Blatt remains few and far between, even as his team prepares for what could be a sweep victory in the Eastern Conference Finals. He’s guided Cleveland through the rigors of the NBA Playoffs — his first, by the way — and has them on the brink of the franchise’s second ever Finals appearance. He’s done so without Love for all but four games. He’s done so facing the top team in the east despite Irving only logging minutes in one game.
Despite all of this, nobody seems to be rushing to give Blatt any legit credit. In his first season in the league, he and his team only need five more wins to bring home a title. Yet, you’d never know he had the slightest impact in any of it.
Why? Where is the deserved acclaim? What does Blatt, who appears to be on the verge of heading to the Finals, have to do to get any sort of credit?