The Cleveland Cavaliers are the clear favorites in the Eastern Conference. Virtually every NBA analyst projects LeBron James and crew back in the NBA Finals because of their roster and uncertainty elsewhere in the East. If they do, it will be with a new head coach.
The Cavaliers have fired head coach David Blatt, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday afternoon. Cleveland leads the East with a 30-11 after reaching the NBA Final last year.
Assistant coach and former Wizards guard Tyronn Lue has agreed to become the next head coach and sign a multi-year deal, Wojnarowski reported.
This comes less than 24 hours after an impressive 115-102 win over the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday night, Cleveland's second straight win. The Cavaliers are 11-2 since Dec. 28.
Yet it's those two losses that may have doomed Blatt, who finishes his 1 1/2 seasons in Cleveland with a 83-40 record and an NBA Finals appearance. The Cavaliers lost 99-95 at San Antonio on Jan. 14 and were destroyed 132-98 at home by Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors and Spurs are considered the main contenders for the NBA title.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported that James was informed of the decision after the fact and not consulted prior. Blatt and James were not always on the same page last season per accounts. Cleveland's limited usage of All-Star Kevin Love is another constant talking point.