As the Atlanta Hawks take a 2-1 lead going into Game 4 against the #1 seed Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers fans, players and front office have to wonder if they could of pulled the upset. Many Cavs fans put the blame squarely on the shoulders of Mike Brown and continue to call for him to be fired. The Cavs have made little noise since the end of the season. Instead Interim GM David Griffin had a press conference, though he has no clue if he will be retained or not. Likely this means Dan Gilbert and company want to take their time and are either keeping Griffin and Brown around or want a executive and/or coach whose team is still in the playoffs.
Sam Amico, in his weekly chat, noted a few possible coaching replacements, especially if Griffin is retained:
Fox Sports Ohio:
I think you’d have to consider some of Griffin’s Suns connections … Mike D’Antoni, Alvin Gentry, etc. But that’s just a guess. I’m sure the likes of George Karl, Stan Van Gundy, Lionel Hollins, etc., would be in the mix if they wanted to be.
Important phrasing from Amico “if they wanted to be.” If the Cavs wanted to hire any of the last 3 they would have those options immediately. Karl and Van Gundy would be big names that would draw interest, but would they be the right fit for the Cavs? Hollins was a stellar coach in Memphis but unable to get their team over the hump.
Griffin’s Suns connections would probably get more groans then praise. Both D’Antoni and Gentry have struggled in the last 5 years or so. Without Steve Nash, or with a broken down version of him, their offenses haven’t looked revolutionary, they have looked pedestrian.
Recent NBA hires of young coaches off successful benches seems to be the future but Gilbert’s lack of patience means this most likely won’t happen. Instead expect Brown to be retained or a big name coach to be brought in. Fans and management will most likely want an offensive minded coach, since Brown focuses on defense. A balanced coach would be a nice change though. Byron Scott focused on offense, Brown on defense. Most successful coaches are good coaches of basketball. Does that coach exist? Would that coach come to Cleveland?
But as Amico noted in the same chat:
Fox Sports Ohio:
As someone who’s covered this league a long time, coaching is not that huge of a deal in the NBA to me.
I know many of you want Brown out, but who do you want to replace him (Anyone is not the answer we are looking for)?