Matt Moore at CBS Sports asks, How Is Byron Scott Not on the Hot Seat?
Consider this: Mike Brown was fired despite a win percentage of .663 with the Cavaliers. Byron Scott currently has a .469 winning percentage and a .208 mark with the Cavs. Scott didn’t come with championship experience as a coach. Why then is his work with the Cavaliers being glossed over so smoothly?
The answer is a few signature wins. The Cavaliers have knocked off the Celtics, the Lakers, the Heat, and the Knicks (thrice) this season, which Cavs the Blog author John Krolik says lead to the false perception that the Cavs are “scrappy.” In reality, these were simply the result of an 82 game schedule. In the course of such a long season, you’re going to have random games. Not just games where a good team isn’t feeling it. Just games where the other team is better that night. A good team can play well and still lose to a bad team. This isn’t to take credit away from those Cavalier wins, they count in the standings as much as the Celtics’ wins do. But it’s the overall body of work beyond the wins and losses, especially for a rebuilding squad, that shows the value of the team. And the value of the Cavaliers is terrible. That’s mostly on account of roster. That’s partly on account of Scott.
The Cavaliers have shown poor late-game execution, have struggled with lineup management, have failed in communication and coherency on both sides of the ball, and have illustrated a lack of effort in the majority of their games. Those are not solely accountable to a bad roster. A large part of those problems is coaching. Meanwhile, as the losses have piled up, Scott has not stuck by his guys. Instead of protecting a young roster trying to find its way and seek some progress, at every turn Scott has publicly, not privately, publicly berated his team. Running down a young squad for their effort in practice is one thing. Doing it in the post-game gaggle is another. It doesn’t motivate the players. It doesn’t help the organziation move in the right direction. It just makes it look like Scott’s trying to duck the blame for the losses.
A bit harsh? Probably. But at the same time, how many times have you been watching a game this year and thought to yourself, “Wow, I’m sure glad Byron Scott is our coach”?
I’m not saying the Cavs should fire Scott but I certainly don’t think he deserves a free pass for this season. The team that Byron Scott coached lost an NBA record 26 straight times (tying the streak amongst all of North American professional sports). His team set the NBA record to consecutive losses and he doesn’t get any blame? I know there were injuries and I know the talent wasn’t the best, but some of those 26 straight losses (and 36 out of 37) have to fall on the coach, no? I mean, he kept letting Anthony Parker improvise at the end of close games rather than, oh I dunno, calling a time out and making your crappy team setup a play.
I dunno, it’s been a rough season. I’m not saying that the Cavs should fire Coach Scott (or that he even deserves to be fired) just that, if he decided to walk away from this team (seeing as when he signed on, he was hoping to coach that LeBron fella), I wouldn’t be upset about it.
Obviously, this has been a tough year to evaluate Byron Scott, as a lot of shit that went wrong (The Decision, the injuries, the fact that Antawn Jamison doesn’t play defense or rebound). It hasn’t been all bad; Scott seems to have gotten through to J.J. Hickson and the Cavs are certainly playing well to end the year. It’s just, if you think Scott’s poor record Cleveland is solely due to lack of talent, I think you’re mistaken.
Losing 36 out of 37 games…. that’s on everyone.