It’s the move no one saw coming. Even LeBron James. So, he says.
The Cleveland Cavaliers sent shockwaves around the NBA-watching universe on Friday night when the organization announced it had fired David Blatt. Blatt was let go midway through a season that had seen the Cavs notch a 30-11 record and a 3-game lead at the top of the Eastern Conference.
But wait, there was more.
Just minutes after news of Blatt’s dismissal broke, the Cavs announced they had signed associate coach Tyronn Lue to the position and a multi-year deal. Whoa.
Now, Lue and the Cavaliers return to the court for a brand-new era of Cleveland basketball. You’re not going to want to miss this one. Here’s everything you need to know about the faceoff against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night:
Date: Saturday, January 23, 2016
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland Ohio
TV Channel: ABC
Line: Cleveland -10.5 via OddsShark
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Game Preview: Everyone recovered from Friday night’s news? We all cool with the Tyron Lue-led Cleveland Cavaliers?
Well, the Cavs certainly appear to be.
“I want to try to play 10 guys,” Lue told Cleveland.com on Friday. “Our goal is the long haul of getting to the playoffs and then we can try and shorten the rotation. But as of now, I want to try playing 10 guys so that way we can keep guys ready so we won’t run into the same problems we ran into last year in The Finals where guys went down, and the guys [that didn’t play], they didn’t have a flow to their game because they hadn’t played in a while.”
Of course, he gets a fairy solid opportunity to get off to a good note on Saturday night.
The Bulls have shot a fairly pitiful 20.6 percent from 3-point range and are giving up 108.8 points over a 2-6 stretch. Chicago committed 20 turnovers in Friday night’s 110-101 loss at Boston and Jimmy Butler is 0-for-12 from 3 over his last four games.
If there is a bright spot, it’s Derrick Rose. The veteran had 27 points on Friday and is averaging 25.3 points in his last three games.
No game is guaranteed – and neither is any coaching job apparently – but the Cavs are, for the first time in awhile, feeling pretty good about their chances.