David Blatt’s Cleveland Cavaliers Advance, But he Still Has His critics

The main problem that Cavs fans have with Blatt still exists: his apparent lack of passion.

Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Israeli head coach David Blatt has job security for the time being. His team advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs after a 4 game sweep of the Boston Celtics.

But the main problem that Cavs fans have with Blatt still exists: his apparent lack of passion.

Israelis have a great deal riding on Blatt’s success. He was the head coach of the European Champion Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team before jumping to the NBA. That is why so many Israelis and Jewish basketball fans around the world have been closely following the Cavaliers’ season.

There was a lot of talk among Cleveland fans during the regular season about how Blatt had supposedly “lost” his team’ that the players did not respect him. But then the Cavs finished first in their division with a 59-23 record, securing the number 2 overall seed in the Eastern Conference.

But the Cavs’ first round victory came with a price. One of the team’s stars, Kevin Love, suffered a dislocated shoulder on an egregious foul. He left the game in the first quarter and will definitely miss the second round of the playoffs.

A lot was made of the shoddy officiating in the first round Boston-Cleveland series. But Blatt has been called out by fans for not complaining enough or being vocal enough in defense of his players.

This was the main complaint leveled against him during the regular season.

Blatt’s post-game interview left Cleveland fans wanting more from him. Blatt seemed to be lacking any passion and once again failed to get angry at how his team was treated by the Celtics players.

In answer to a question about the refs not doing enough about flagrant fouls he said, “If you don’t police it all the way through, sooner or later, it’s going to happen.”

In one egregious example, a Celtic player interfered with a Cavalier while standing out of bounds. Cleveland fans were furious that no technical foul was called.

Blatt was asked if anything like that had happened during his years coaching in Europe and Israel. He coolly responded that he thought if something like that happened and were seen by a ref then a technical foul would surely have been called.

In Blatt’s defense, the NBA takes a hard line against coaches who criticize the official to the media.

If the Cavs at least make it to the Conference finals then Blatt will probably be back next season in Cleveland.

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