Report: Cavs timeouts called behind Blatt's back, players openly complaining

Blake Murphy
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

It hasn't been a very fun start to David Blatt's NBA coaching career.

Hired with a great reputation out of Europe this summer, Blatt was gifted LeBron James and Kevin Love for his roster that already included All-Star guard Kyrie Irving. Three maximum-contract players on a single team is a coach's dream, and it was difficult to see the situation failing, even if hiring Blatt before landing James seemed a bit out of step.

Fast forward a few months, and the Cleveland Cavaliers are below .500 (19-20). ESPN's Brian Windhorst, something of a James expert, paints an ugly picture for Blatt and the Cavaliers.

It isn't just the casinos that are agape at how this is playing out - the Cavs were 4-15 in their past 19 games against the spread coming in to Tuesday - so are league scouts, executives and rival players.

They see players appearing to run different plays than the bench calls, see assistant coach Tyronn Lue calling timeouts literally behind Blatt's back during games, and hear Cavs players openly talking about coaching issues with opposing players and personnel. Not once, not twice, but frequently over the past several months.

For weeks now, the small talk when league personnel run into each other at college games, airports or pregame meals has frequently started with: 'What the hell is going on in Cleveland?'

With James now back in the fold after an eight-game absence, and three new players on the roster, Blatt will likely get at least a few weeks to get his house in order. The team still has ample time to hit its stride by the playoffs, even if home court in the Eastern Conference is now nothing more than a pipe dream.

The final call on Blatt's future may come from James, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, as he wields a tremendous amount of power within the organization. 

A midseason shake-up would probably be too reactive and not entirely fair to Blatt, but the early signs of discontent indicate it's not out of the question. 

Here's a look at some of the more public issues the Cavaliers have experienced so far this season:

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