Keep Byron Scott or not?
Our sports writers debate on whether the Cavs should fire Byron Scott
After the Cavs' heartbreaking season, questions are raised if head coach Byron Scott should stay or be fired. Photo courtesy bleacherreport.com
Three reasons head coach should remain with Cavs
By Kevin Fay
The notion of Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott not having lived up to his contract is laughable. He was signed in 2010 to coach the team with the best record in the NBA for the last two years. LeBron James blew town and the rest of the team crawled up in a fetal position and cried. Rebuilding had begun.
There are three main reasons to look past the Cavs abysmal record the last three years. The first of which is clearly the roster. Since James bolted, the Cavaliers cleaned house, jettisoning overpaid, underperforming veterans in lieu of young lottery picks. As a result, the Cavs have spent much of the last three years with a couple of lottery picks surrounded by D-Leaguers, a surefire recipe for compounding losses.
The second biggest reason to forgive the record is the development of his five, first and second-year players. Guard Kyrie Irving blossomed into a top-20 player (if not top-10) before his 21st birthday. Also, no one younger than 22 years old has more career double-doubles than forward Tristan Thompson.
Guard Dion Waiters will be first team All-Rookie and has shown huge growth in both efficiency and team play since January. Only one rookie has more double-doubles than center Tyler Zeller's seven. And Kevin Jones has gone from undrafted rookie to D-League stud and now looks to have a firm spot in the Cavs rotation going forward.
But the most important reason to forgive, if not applaud, Scott is the team's efficiency.
In high school, my coach told us if you control the turnovers and you control the offensive boards, you have done half of what you need to win. The young Cavs are doing just that, having turned the ball over a league-low since early January. They are also in the top-5 in the east (top-9 in the NBA) in both offensive rebounds and second chance points.
With results like this, Scott has shown his ability to shape and develop the young crew, a job very few coaches could have pulled off. So unless your last name is Van Gundy or unless you have 11 Michael Jordan/ Kobe Bryant championship rings, you probably are not a better coach going forward for this franchise.
Reasons for a new 'fresh face at coaching position'
By Jude Dsouza
Let me start by saying that I am not a big fan of any coach being fired. The NBA is a players' league. Teams with stars, usually with multiple, are inclined to consistently be in championship contention, while teams without one usually stay at the bottom of the standings.
However, Byron Scott's time with the Cleveland Cavaliers has run its course, and it's time for Chris Grant and Dan Gilbert to find a new, fresh face at the head coaching position.
In his 13-year coaching career, including stops with the New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets, Scott is 416-516. So far with the Cavs, he is 64-161 in his tenure here.
In New Jersey, Scott had missed back-to-back chances to win an NBA title in 2002 and 2003 against the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, respectively. After a 56-win season and a No. 2 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs in 2008, the team not only lost in the second round to San Antonio, but its momentum the next season.
Besides his atrocious coaching record, Scott fails to put franchise and star players in a position to succeed. During his time in New Jersey, he had Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson and Kenyon Martin in the prime of their careers, along with above average veterans like Keith Van Horn and Dikembe Mutombo.
In New Orleans, he had emerging young talent in Chris Paul, David West and Tyson Chandler. If Scott cannot win with star point guards like Kidd and Paul, what makes you think he can win with Kyrie Irving?
A below .500 coaching record and failure to win with stars speaks volumes to the quality of Scott's coaching career.
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