Cavs to name Byron Scott head coach


The Cavaliers and Scott are finishing the details of a contract that could make him LeBron James’ next coach.

Scott’s agent, Brian McInerney, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that Scott has agreed to become Cleveland’s next coach.

Cleveland settled on Scott, 49, after strongly considering Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw, who impressed the Cavaliers during interviews earlier this week.

The timing of this is a bit curious, but Scott’s desire for the job must not depend on whether or not LeBron returns to the Cavs. He did a nice job in New Orleans and was close with Chris Paul. This hire might fuel speculation that the Cavs are trying to land Paul via trade to entice LeBron to re-sign, though it would be tough for Cleveland to put together a deal enticing enough to get the Hornets to bite.

(Yes, that’s Jeremy Piven in the photo. Fotoglif’s selection of Byron Scott photos is limited.)

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Hornets fire Byron Scott

The New Orleans Hornets started the season a disappointing 3-6, and decided to make a change at head coach, firing Byron Scott.

Scott will be replaced by general manager Jeff Bower, with Tim Floyd as his top assistant, the team said. Floyd formerly coached the Hornets and the Chicago Bulls in the NBA and most recently at USC.

Team owner George Shinn thanked Scott for his service, but said Bower “knows this team better than anyone” and gives the Hornets “our best opportunity to reach our goals this season.”

Scott won NBA Coach of the Year honors in 2008 after he and franchise point guard Chris Paul led the Hornets to a 56-26 record and the Southwest Division title. The Hornets then defeated Dallas in the first round of the playoffs and were within one win of the West finals before losing Game 7 at home to the San Antonio Spurs.

Scott hung on to his job after the early exit but couldn’t survive New Orleans’ poor start, even though the many holes on the Hornets’ roster — with no consistent scorer at the wing positions and little depth — appeared to be beyond his control. A number of league observers considered a coaching change inevitable if the Hornets struggled this season.

The team’s biggest problem isn’t Scott — it’s a lack of talent on the wings. Peja Stojakovic was supposed to be the Hornets’ top perimeter scorer, but he has struggled with a bad back and is getting older. The quickest way for the team to inject some scoring into its lineup would be to trade for Stephen Jackson or Rip Hamilton, two sharpshooting wings that are readily available. But that would require a long-term commitment to one of those players as part of the team’s core.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Couch Potato Alert: NBA Friday

With 12 games on the docket for Friday, there is bound to be a few games worth watching. I’m going to keep my eye on these games…

Trail Blazers (5-3) @ Hornets (4-3), 8 PM ET
The Blazers have won four straight and their first two of a five-game road trip. Rudy Fernandez, Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge have been outstanding, and they just got Greg Oden back on Wednesday. The Hornets are 4-3 need a win here to get back on track. They are just 2-2 at home with losses to the Lakers and the Hawks. Chris Paul is in MVP form and David West is playing well, but they aren’t getting much from Peja Stojakovic (39% FG%). Byron Scott is (ponderously) only playing Julian Wright in very limited minutes, which is surprising considering how strong Wright came on last season.

Pistons (6-2) @ Lakers (7-0), 10:30 PM ET (ESPN)
Detroit is hitting the second of a back-to-back, so the Lakers have a distinct advantage tonight. Still, if the Pistons are on their game, they can test the Lakers. Allen Iverson is averaging 21.8 points, 7.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds in four games with the Pistons. Meanwhile, the Lakers are still trying to figure out how to use Lamar Odom off the bench and are trying to get something other than defense out of Andrew Bynum. The upside is that Trevor Ariza is starting to look like a star (or at least a starter) in the making.

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