Under-fire Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue is adamant the team will not miss out on the NBA playoffs.
The Cavaliers are third in the Eastern Conference, but they have lost 12 of 18 games, a slump that sparked speculation Cleveland could part with Lue.
A team official dismissed those reports, telling ESPN on Saturday: "We are not firing our head coach."
While these are rocky times in Cleveland, Lue is not worried about the Cavaliers and their spot in the postseason.
"I don't think we'll be knocked out of the playoffs, no," Lue told reporters. "I mean we're still going to make the playoffs. There's no doubt about that. We're still confident in that for sure."
Just making the playoffs, though, is hardly an achievement for a franchise that has been in the NBA Finals the past three seasons, winning in 2016.
But this season has been full of discontent, locker room dysfunction, concerns about the defense, and rampant speculation about LeBron James' future. He is eligible for free agency at the end of the campaign.
All that drama has left the Cavs at 30-21. They are only five games ahead of the ninth-place Detrpot Pistons, while they trail the high-flying Celtics by seven-and-a-half games.
A reporter asked James on Monday if the Cavs are a lock for the postseason.
"I would hope so," James said. "I don't think anybody's here not to make the playoffs."