We covered the Cleveland Cavaliers victory over the Denver Nuggets earlier today. We also posted the amazing GIF of Dion Waiters’ dunk being blocked with 2 hands by Kenneth Faried, a GIF you got to see. With the NFL season wrapping up, conference games are tomorrow, and the NBA barreling towards their mid-season All Star game today seemed like a good day to compare the seasons of the Cavaliers and the Cleveland Browns, and the above picture of Joe Haden at a Cavs game fits as well. Jason Lloyd’s article following the Cavaliers’ win led to the thoughts for today:
13. Brown went back to what he has said a few times now, but he’s absolutely right. The Cavs were terrible in November, they were a little more competitive in December and now they’re winning some of those tight games in January. This team has progressed with each passing month.
One of the reasons the Browns’ Front Office, like them or not, gave for the firing of Rob Chudzinski after only 1 season was the team’s lack of development over the season. They believed that Chud did not do a good enough job developing players from the start of the season to the end, instead inferring the team fell back instead of forward. This means the team’s record was not the primary reason for his firing but is indicative of the lack of development. Lets break down the Browns record by month:
November: 1-2 (Bye Week in November)
Of all of the Browns loses this season only 4 of those teams made the playoffs (Bengals, Patriots, Chiefs and Packers). Their December swoon included losses to 4 non-playoff teams. While their wins also left something to be desired, only 1 win against a playoff team (Bengals), they did defeat 2 of their divisional foes in the Ravens and Bengals. Losing to the Steelers twice in a little over a month is difficult for Browns’ faithful. Based on record the Front Office seems to be on to something, the team’s performance was lacking, especially into the end of the season.
The Cavaliers are also in their first season under a new, yet old, coach in Mike Brown. Lloyd states that Brown often points to development of the team over the season, similar to the Browns FO. The Cavs have had a number of issues throughout the early part of the season: team unrest, injuries, Andrew Bynum, new coaching system, Andrew Bynum (had to be in there twice) and uncertainty of so many thing. Yet lets look at their results:
October & November: 5 – 12 (.294 winning percentage) – includes the 1 October game
December: 5 – 9 (.357)
January: 5 – 4 (.556) with 6 games remaining
So the Cavs winning percentages have increased each month, though their number of wins have been 5 so far each month. With 1 more win in their next 6 games the Cavs will have their most wins in a month and will increase their winning percentage for the second month in a row. Only 2 of the remaining 6 opponents in January have winning records, leaving the Cavs will a good chance for a winning record for the month.
It looks like the Cavs are putting themselves in place for a playoff run, the trade for Luol Deng is a big piece of that. Its also important that Coach Brown is seeing the type of development that he expected during his first season back with the team. Seems that he not only has his own approval, and hopefully that of the Cavs’ Front Office, but that he would also have the approval of the Browns’ Front Office. Had Chud shown similar development its likely he would be preparing for his second season with the team instead of figuring how to spend his well paid vacation for the next year, or 3.
When you look at the two first year coaches, what is similar between Chud and Brown? What is different? Should Brown be considered for the firing squad if his team falls flatly in the remaining schedule like Chud’s did? Leave your thoughts below in our comments section.