By Tom Withers
CLEVELAND — Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue has a long list of immediate concerns.
Keeping his job isn’t currently one of them.
Despite Cleveland’s recent slide and his team’s lack of cohesion, the Cavaliers have no immediate plans to replace Lue, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Sunday.
The status of Lue, who led the team to an NBA title in 2016 and three straight Finals appearances, came into question following Saturday night’s 32-point home loss to Houston, the latest blowout suffered by a team in disarray. However, Lue’s job isn’t in danger because of the need for “keeping continuity” at this challenging time, given Cleveland’s roster overhaul and injuries, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday because of the sensitive nature of the situation.
ESPN first reported that Lue’s job wasn’t in jeopardy.
Cleveland has lost 12 of 18 and LeBron James and his teammates have been beaten by at least 24 points in four games during the span. They were booed by fans in Quicken Loans Arena almost from the start of the performance against Houston, and following the game, Lue and several of his players challenged the team’s level of effort and trust.
“We didn’t have no fight,” Lue said.
James said: “I’m at a loss for words.”
Isaiah Thomas said the struggle is internal.
“We’re not together on both ends,” he said. “There’s a lot of one-on-one on the offense end, maybe because we don’t trust each other. And then on the defensive end, it’s the same thing. Guys are put on islands and there’s no trust. I mean, if you don’t trust something . I don’t know.”
A search for answers has yielded no solutions during this prolonged slump.
The Cavaliers have lost eight consecutive games on national TV, prompting James to half-heartedly joke the team should be dropped from future network appearances.
As if Lue didn’t have enough problems, the Cavaliers lost All-Star forward Kevin Love this week with a broken hand. Love could be sidelined two months, and there’s no telling what the team will look like when he returns.