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Tyronn Lue’s Future in Doubt?

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After a 5-7 start to the season, rumors already began to swirl about the Cavaliers firing Tyronn Lue. After that rough 12 game start, the Cavaliers won nine straight, finding their rhythm, making it seem like Lue’s job was secure. But now, after back-to-back 28+ point losses and squandering a 22-point lead to Indiana, the rumors are again swirling.

Lue took the over the head coach role after the Cavaliers fired David Blatt two seasons ago. Later in that year, the Cavaliers won the NBA championship over the Warriors in the infamous 3-1 blown lead series. When Blatt was fired, Cleveland’s record was 30-11 (best in the Eastern Conference) and had made it to the finals in the previous season. This shows that the Cavaliers’ front office and LeBron James are not afraid of ditching a coach even after having success.

Currently, Lue and the Cavaliers are 26-16, good for third in the Eastern conference and had lost the finals last season. Throughout this season, it has looked like Lue does not know how to mesh his system with the players he has on his roster. Also, LeBron James has taken exception to Lue saying that the players on the Cavaliers (including James) have agendas and they need to get rid of them. This season is very similar to how Blatt’s final season went, and this year’s Cavs have a worse record and seed. Expect the Cavaliers to wait until near the all-star break to make a change, but if they keep up this poor play, they could make a coaching change any day.

Who would they hire? There are rumors for multiple guys but there are only two that really seem to make sense.

Jeff Van Gundy

(Yahoo Sports)

Jeff Van Gundy has coached 10 full seasons in the NBA with the Knicks and Rockets (resigned early in one season), but he has not coached since 2007 when he coached the Houston Rockets. He has only missed the playoffs once in his career, back in the 05-06 season when Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady missed a combined 70 games. In the three other seasons as the Rockets’ coach, he got them to the playoffs, but failed to make it out of the first round in any of those trips.

JVG is the first name that pops into people’s heads when a coaching vacancy has been created as he has immense basketball knowledge that gets shown nationally when he calls games on ESPN, including the NBA finals. His gig at ESPN would be hard to leave, but an offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers to be their head coach would be even tougher to leave on the table.

 

David Fizdale

If Tyronn Lue does end up getting fired, Fizdale is the favorite. No question about it. Fizdale was recently fired as the Grizzlies head coach after a 7-12 start after him and star center Marc Gasol were not in agreement over a fourth quarter benching. Last year was his first as a head coach. He coached the Grizzlies to an average record of 43-39, but that average record was not unexpected in the tough Western Conference.

Fizdale has become one of the fan favorite coaches after his “take that for data” line at a press conference while defending his team after a tough loss to the Spurs in the playoffs. Also, many current players took to defending the firing of Fizdale, including Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Fizdale was an assistant coach with the Miami Heat for eight of the seasons that Wade played there and the four years that James played there. I think you know where I am going with this. Fizdale, Wade, and James seem to have a good relationship that has been built over the last few years, and that includes winning two titles. While James has been on the Cavaliers he has always tried to squeeze his way into the head coach hiring and firings. He will not settle for a coach he does not want, and it does not seem like he would be any sort of opposed to hiring Fiz.

Bonus: Under David Fizdale, the Grizzlies were one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. They held their opponents to 44% shooting from the field. Currently, the Cavaliers are second to last in defensive rating (109.3) which is only .6 points behind the Sacramento Kings for last. Fizdale cannot bring the players he had to Cleveland, but he could bring his knowledge and his schemes to try and help improve the Cavs defensively.

 

While the idea that Tyronn Lue will be fired soon might not even be completely formulated in the Cavs front office, everyone knows they are trying to be better than the Warriors and the way they are playing right now definitely will not cut it. Ty Lue is on the hot seat. And it is getting hotter and hotter after every loss.

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About Aaron Morse

UW-La Crosse Class of 2019 | Majoring in Sports Journalism. Minoring in Sports Broadcasting and Coaching | You can follow me on Twitter @FlyinHawaiian36

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