The Cavaliers evened the Eastern Conference semis thanks to LeBron James’s game-winning shot Sunday, so head coach David Blatt attempting to call a timeout with none remaining didn’t end up damning Cleveland to a loss. Blatt should still get shit for it, though, and he should definitely get shit for the ways he’s been trying to brush the blunder off.
Blatt had to be physically restrained by Cavs assistant Tyronn Lue when he tried to call a timeout even though his team didn’t have any, a mistake that—had officials seen it—would have resulted in a technical foul.
This is particularly damning given the fact that back in January, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst noted Lue as the players’ preferred line of communication. Windhorst went on the B.S. Report afterwards and had some more details about Blatt seemingly being overwhelmed by the prospect of managing his team’s timeouts:
I had advanced scouts telling me that Tyronn Lue was initiating timeouts, calling timeouts ... I think David Blatt was having a difficult time, in the scheme of things, figuring out whether it was their timeout, or when to take a 20, and Tyronn Lue was instructing him. But there were times when Tyronn Lue was just flat-out calling timeouts.
Blatt denied the claims at the time. In yesterday’s postgame presser, Blatt confessed that he messed up, but today, he was ready to move on:
The timeout gaffe wasn’t the only issue with Crunch-Time Blatt. James said after the game that he rejected Blatt’s original final play, which called for LeBron to inbound the ball. Maybe some type of give-and-go would have worked with more time, but with 1.5 seconds left, it seems unwise—well, flat-out stupid—to remove your best player as an option.
Blatt said he had options for James on the original play, but wouldn’t elaborate:
And then today, he said this:
David Blatt should probably just stop talking to the media for a little bit.
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