The Cavs held a ‘contentious’ players-only meeting to solve one of their biggest problems under David Blatt

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost their first game under new head coach Tyronn Lue, but have since rattled off four wins in a row in dominating fashion. While some note the new uptempo style put forth by Lue, a new report points to a players-only meeting held after the firing of David Blatt.

According to Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe of ESPN, following the meeting in which the players found out Blatt had been fired, the players got together for an “extended and spirited” meeting that is being described as an “airing of grievances.”

The meeting was reportedly called by veteran James Jones, at the encouragement of general manager David Griffin, and may have solved the biggest problems the Cavs faced under Blatt: accountability and the idea that different players played by different sets of rules.

A central issue in the discussion, sources said, was the need for accountability within the team. One of the issues that was keeping the team from enjoying some of the successes of the season was the different set of rules for some players compared to others.

In what could turn out to be a key moment in their tenures together, James, Irving and Love came to an understanding that they needed to police each other on certain matters and use their influence within the team to set a standard for accountability, sources said. That was frequently a missing component over the past season and a half, sometimes creating friction.

Windhorst made an appearance on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” to further discuss the meeting and some of the issues of accountability the players had been facing. In one example, he cited video meetings. Some players felt Blatt never criticized James when he made mistakes on the video but would criticize other players who made similar mistakes.

However, despite the meeting being called “contentious at times,” it sounds like the players came out of it on the other end with a better understanding of each other and a new sense of purpose.

“This meeting, and it got contentious at times, like many players-only meetings do, but this meeting could potentially be the beginning of a new era between Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, and LeBron James,” Windhorst said on ESPN. “They were the leaders of this gathering. They had things to say to each other. And the primary thing that was addressed was when one of them steps out of line, it’s gotta be on them to knock themselves back in, that they are going to begin to police themselves more … It was an issue that David Blatt didn’t hold them to. While it dug up some things and created some issues, they solved it and really set the stage for going forward.”

One source echoed this sentiment.

“It was like ripping off a scab,” one team source told ESPN. “And it was exactly what needed to happen. I think it was what [Griffin] was hoping for.”

And it appears to be working. During the Cavs’ 4-game winning streak, they are averaging 115.0 points per game, compared to 101.0 points per game in the first 42 games of the season. The new offense has led to the more dominant performances expected of the Cavs, winning these four games by an average of 12.8 points, 7.6 points more than before the winning streak.

The Cavs have a long ways to go, but the combination of Lue and a team that is finally working together appears to have righted the ship.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Popular

To Top