Nov 30, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown yells in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
It’s the first week of December and there are only TWO teams in the East with a winning record. The Pacers and the Heat are by far the class of the Eastern Conference.
In a year in which potentially the NBA draft could mirror the epic class of 2003 being fans of a bad team could result in a quick turnaround. But when the team has been bad for a few seasons now and actually had aspirations of making the playoffs this season it is time to start pointing fingers following a 5-12 start to the season.
A lot of criticism has been placed on the players, whether it’s Dion Waiters frustration, Kyrie Irving’s slump, Anthony Bennett not looking like a number one overall pick or Anderson Varajeo not producing like Cavs fans are accustomed to there certainly is plenty to go around.
However, this article is geared toward putting the blame elsewhere, Head coach Mike Brown.
Brown has the sixth-highest winning percentage in NBA history among coaches with a minimum of 400 games coached. Brown has one at least one playoff series every full season he’s been in charge and he has the best winning percentage of any coach in the Cavaliers 43 year history.
Sounds odd that here you are reading an article in which the blame is being placed on a coach who has a pretty impressive resume.
In my opinion, Brown’s statistics are a tad misleading. Throughout Brown’s six years in Cleveland he had arguably the best player in the game on his roster in LeBron James. Without another superstar on the roster the game plan in Cleveland was simple, give the ball to James.
This would work in the regular season as Brown coached the Cavaliers to multiple 60 plus win seasons. However, come playoff time when defenses lock down and the NBA becomes more of a half-court game the Cavaliers didn’t have anything to show for their best records in the NBA.
There were times when James came up short and many considered he didn’t have a “clutch” gene, but we all know how dominate the king is today.
The Cavaliers fired Mike Brown and while we all have opinions as for the reasons why, one cannot deny the fact that he let James run the team. Former Cavalier players were upset with coach Brown and his inability to call out LeBron James for a missed assignment in practice. Players admitted that Brown would point out other players flaws and weaknesses, but when it came to LeBron, Brown sat back and didn’t say much.
Fast forward to this season and some rumors are reaching the surface about Dion Waiters and his frustration that Brown does not bench or punish Irving for lack of defense, but benches Waiters for the little things. An article on ESPN.com summarized that when Waiters tried to speak up about his frustration Tristan Thompson stood up and defended Irving.
Now who knows what is true, but we do know the Cavaliers fired Byron Scott and brought Brown back because of his ability to coach defense.
Brown is considered as one of the best defensive minded coaches in the league, yet the Cavaliers are allowing over 100 points per game.
Possibly the players are not “buying” into the system and by no means is this article questioning Brown’s defensive coaching ability.
Something needs to change though and sooner rather than later because if the Cavaliers want any chance at “Bringing the King back home” they need to start winning.
The Cavaliers are committed to Mike Brown and because of that I would like to see changes made since quite frankly our roster is not as appealing as I thought it was before the season started.