Byron Scott is the kind of guy that will look you in the eye and tell you what he's thinking. So when he said in Sunday's Beacon Journal profile he believes the Cavs can win and make the playoffs next season, he's not reading off a PR script. He really believes it.
Scott took over teams in New Jersey and New Orleans with little talent and had them in the conference finals within a couple years. That's not to say he'll have the Cavaliers back in the East finals by 2012, but he likes the pieces already in place.
As for losing LeBron, Scott admits the players were shocked at first. But now they're tired of what's being said about them.
"A lot of them first of all were stunned. I don’t think a lot of guys on this team saw that coming," he said. "After that shock, the next reaction was mad and upset. After that you have to let it go and start thinking about what can you do to get better."
The Cavaliers have been viewed as an organization that failed to surround James with acceptable talent during his seven years in Cleveland. Scott said all of the current players should take offense to that.
"I don't think a lot of guys are happy about what's being written and said. Things like 'he had no help.' That's a slap in the face if you're a true competitor," Scott said, adding that the Cavaliers will be forced to move the ball more and work together offensively without the two-time MVP.
"It's not gonna be one guy like LeBron, who can handle the ball and make plays, it’s gotta be four or five guys involved every single time," he said. "You'll probably see a whole lot more team basketball."