Cavs' coach courts on-court changes

Full story: Akron Beacon Journal

CLEVELAND: Several times during this season, Cavaliers coach Mike Brown has proclaimed himself in ''search mode.'' It has been the nearly constant mode of an active roster in continuous flux since late January.

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East Side Joe

Chevy Chase, MD

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#1
Apr 1, 2008
 
More changes. More uncertainty. More of the same offense. How a winning team can be so difficult to watch? Cleveland has not seen such a superstar since Jim Brown. Since Jim Brown. This is a time in Cleveland sports history that comes and goes as often as comets and affordable housing, and we're blowing it. Maybe even stinking it up. When LeBron walks away it will go down in history along side the river burning, the mayor's hair burning, Kucinich, and all the other jokes. If a team represents a city they way it is suppose to be than there is a lot at stake here.

“Serenity Now!”

Since: May 07

York Township, OH

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#4
Apr 1, 2008
 
East Side Joe wrote:
More changes. More uncertainty. More of the same offense. How a winning team can be so difficult to watch? Cleveland has not seen such a superstar since Jim Brown. Since Jim Brown. This is a time in Cleveland sports history that comes and goes as often as comets and affordable housing, and we're blowing it. Maybe even stinking it up. When LeBron walks away it will go down in history along side the river burning, the mayor's hair burning, Kucinich, and all the other jokes. If a team represents a city they way it is suppose to be than there is a lot at stake here.
If LeBron does leave, the Cavaliers franchise might not be far behind. That's how much is at stake here. I hope Danny Ferry realizes that.
alan t

Lewis Center, OH

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#5
Apr 1, 2008
 
Brittle Fingers wrote:
<quoted text>
If LeBron does leave, the Cavaliers franchise might not be far behind. That's how much is at stake here. I hope Danny Ferry realizes that.
Please. Do you seriously believe that Danny Ferry gives a crap what happens to the franchise after he and James are gone? I must have missed the memo when Ferry became a civic leader.

I'll go way, way out on a limb, eat my stale fried cookie and read my LeBron in China fortune, and say the franchise is moving to Seattle in 2014.
Racjac

Towson, MD

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#6
Apr 1, 2008
 
I've been sticking up for Mike Brown in his 2.75 years here, but that stops now. I can't believe how badly he is screwing up the rotation. Wally is in a "slump" after 7 or 8 games...never mind his creer shooting percentages. How come we never heard that Larry Hughes was in a freakin 3 year slump!! Devin Brown is a nice guy to use for 12-15 minutes, but hasn't the Cavs problems been for years that they CAN"T SCORE! Without Wally, DJ, and Sasha...what does Brown expect, LBJ to score 50 every night in the playoffs and bail him out again. Our outside shooting will continue to suffer...this guy has ruined the season with these moves. I had confidence we could take Boston in Round 2.....until these Boneheaded moves by MB!
Chris K

Sussex, NJ

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#8
Apr 1, 2008
 
Does anyone see the strange similarity between Devin Brown and the former Cavalier "starter" Mike Sanders? I constantly wondered how Sanders earned a starting position among Daugherty, Nance, Price and Ehlo, and yet series after series in the early 90's, out came Sanders to guard and post Scottie Pippen. I'm guessing Brown may have read one of our blogs and realized he's got to do something to name definitively two balanced units, and even though Devin was "LeBron lite" on the second unit, he has been playing better, is at this point a more balanced player, and actually moves his feet on defense. Pavlovic, Gibson, and Wally may provide some offensive punch off the bench, but come playoff time, if they don't defend, they don't play.... and, I wonder, is Mike Brown finally taking out frustrations on two guys (Sasha and AV) who botched team chemistry back in August? This team is too unique to predict future outcomes based on past precedents, which makes the playoffs an oddly exciting proposition for the Cavs. Put this in perspective: the Cavs, even in the state that they are, might be the worst team in playoff history that everyone is gunning for and/or afraid of. There is still time to get this together, and until they bow out, I'm believing, however naively.
Eric

Gainesville, FL

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#9
Apr 1, 2008
 
Racjac wrote:
I've been sticking up for Mike Brown in his 2.75 years here, but that stops now. I can't believe how badly he is screwing up the rotation. Wally is in a "slump" after 7 or 8 games...never mind his creer shooting percentages. How come we never heard that Larry Hughes was in a freakin 3 year slump!! Devin Brown is a nice guy to use for 12-15 minutes, but hasn't the Cavs problems been for years that they CAN"T SCORE! Without Wally, DJ, and Sasha...what does Brown expect, LBJ to score 50 every night in the playoffs and bail him out again. Our outside shooting will continue to suffer...this guy has ruined the season with these moves. I had confidence we could take Boston in Round 2.....until these Boneheaded moves by MB!
Racjac, the Cavaliers have always expected lebron to score 50 a night. The Cavs front office don't think it's important who he plays with. That's why they have done such a poor job of putting talent around him. And the other problem the Cavs have is that they were not willing to be patient and use the first two or three years of Lebrons career to build a legitiment team. So, the front office made the team thru bad trades just good enough to be mediocre in the east.
RPB

Pittsburgh, PA

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#10
Apr 1, 2008
 
Racjac wrote:
I've been sticking up for Mike Brown in his 2.75 years here, but that stops now. I can't believe how badly he is screwing up the rotation. Wally is in a "slump" after 7 or 8 games...never mind his creer shooting percentages. How come we never heard that Larry Hughes was in a freakin 3 year slump!! Devin Brown is a nice guy to use for 12-15 minutes, but hasn't the Cavs problems been for years that they CAN"T SCORE! Without Wally, DJ, and Sasha...what does Brown expect, LBJ to score 50 every night in the playoffs and bail him out again. Our outside shooting will continue to suffer...this guy has ruined the season with these moves. I had confidence we could take Boston in Round 2.....until these Boneheaded moves by MB!
I'm with you Racjac! This team needs offense! So let's bench Sasha, let's bench Wally, let's bench Damon Jones, etc. Mike Brown uses defense as an excuse to bench people, but the reality is that he has no clue how to set a rotation and make guys feel comfortable in their roles. Players like Sasha obviously play and shoot better when they know their role and don't have to worry about being benched every time they miss a defensive assignment.

Let's make a deal...Mike Brown says he has to make decisions so he is going to do so and stick with it. If he does, and the Cavs succeed as a result, let's give him the credit. If they continue to suck, and get bounced from the playoffs, let's get rid of him!

Despite what many people say, the Cavs have enough talent around Lebron to be a championship contending team, the problem is they have no system or consistency. That is one person's fault, Mike Brown! Players like Sasha, Wally, Damon Jones, AV, etc. are doomed to fail in many situations because of Mike Brown's failures as a coach.
East Side Joe

Chevy Chase, MD

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#11
Apr 1, 2008
 
Brittle Fingers wrote:
<quoted text>
If LeBron does leave, the Cavaliers franchise might not be far behind. That's how much is at stake here. I hope Danny Ferry realizes that.
Right on brother. I sure hate to be negative but try these tempting markets/growing metro areas on for size. We should never fool ourselves. Remember what happened to the Browns.

1) Seattle Cavaliers (should the Super Sonics leave) ranked 15th nationally in population. Growing population.

2) St. Louis Cavaliers (grew 4% from 2000 to 2007 while Cleveland shrunk 2.4 percent. Ranks 18th nationally.

3) Tampa Cavaliers. Rank=14, growing.

4) Cincinnati Cavaliers. Don't laugh. Ranks ahead of Cleveland and is one of the few northern cities that is growing. Market reaches into Kentucky.

5) Kansas City Cavaliers. Ranks below Cleveland but is growing.

6) Las Vegas Cavaliers. Ranks 30th but grew 33% between 2000 and 2007. Will soon pass Baltimore in size.

7) Baltimore Cavaliers. Wouldn't that be an insult.

8) Austin Cavaliers. Ranks 37th but grew 27% between 2000 and 2007. A first class city in a basketball state.

Some of these metro areas are not serious candidates for a team for one reason or another but who knows. Others metros are very ready. If a team can seriously consider a move to Oklahoma City...well.
East Side Joe

Chevy Chase, MD

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#12
Apr 1, 2008
 
RPB wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm with you Racjac! This team needs offense! So let's bench Sasha, let's bench Wally, let's bench Damon Jones, etc. Mike Brown uses defense as an excuse to bench people, but the reality is that he has no clue how to set a rotation and make guys feel comfortable in their roles. Players like Sasha obviously play and shoot better when they know their role and don't have to worry about being benched every time they miss a defensive assignment.
Let's make a deal...Mike Brown says he has to make decisions so he is going to do so and stick with it. If he does, and the Cavs succeed as a result, let's give him the credit. If they continue to suck, and get bounced from the playoffs, let's get rid of him!
Despite what many people say, the Cavs have enough talent around Lebron to be a championship contending team, the problem is they have no system or consistency. That is one person's fault, Mike Brown! Players like Sasha, Wally, Damon Jones, AV, etc. are doomed to fail in many situations because of Mike Brown's failures as a coach.
Agree with you last paragraph.
Steve G

Stanwood, MI

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#13
Apr 1, 2008
 
RPB wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm with you Racjac! This team needs offense! So let's bench Sasha, let's bench Wally, let's bench Damon Jones, etc. Mike Brown uses defense as an excuse to bench people, but the reality is that he has no clue how to set a rotation and make guys feel comfortable in their roles. Players like Sasha obviously play and shoot better when they know their role and don't have to worry about being benched every time they miss a defensive assignment.
Let's make a deal...Mike Brown says he has to make decisions so he is going to do so and stick with it. If he does, and the Cavs succeed as a result, let's give him the credit. If they continue to suck, and get bounced from the playoffs, let's get rid of him!
Despite what many people say, the Cavs have enough talent around Lebron to be a championship contending team, the problem is they have no system or consistency. That is one person's fault, Mike Brown! Players like Sasha, Wally, Damon Jones, AV, etc. are doomed to fail in many situations because of Mike Brown's failures as a coach.
I would agree that the Cavs have enough talent around LeBron at this time to win a championship. The problem is that this happened late in the season with a big trade. You don't take 6 players (2 of them starters, and 2 others playing significant minutes) off the team and add 4 more (again 2 starters and bench players who will get significant minutes) without it taking some time to work out. Add in the injuries, and it just gets harder.

What really baffled me in the game Sunday was, Sasha was benched in favor of Devin Brown. Ok, fine, Brown looked really good during that stretch where he started 8-10 games. Playing the wing, waiting for LeBron to dish, attacking the basket at times. But why was Sasha on bench the entire game? He didn't play at all. How do you go from starting to 0 minutes?

The Cavs will continue to shuffle line-ups, and try to find things that work leading up to the playoffs. But they probably won't find that perfect solution by then. So next season will be where we see the proof (if all the players are back and not dealing with long term injuries).
Chris K

Sussex, NJ

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#14
Apr 1, 2008
 
I like the comments, and as doom-laden as they may be, we are still talking about a team with championship expectations...but I do wonder about Sasha (and AV during the Hornets game) being benched. Steve G, you're right about the totality of the benching. Recall how Sasha didn't play early in his career because his "offense was his defense"? I have a feeling his benching is the result of something he did or said, as much as what he didn't do defensively, not offensively.

I doubt, however, that Wally did a similar thing to earn the bench. RPB and racjac are right in saying that benching the shooters makes little sense unless you are bringing an Arkansas defense a la Richardson's 40 Minutes of Hell. Since Brown refuses to use imagination, the weight of the offense is squarely on LeBron's shoulders.

Perhaps visiting Charlotte will make us all a bit more optimistic...
RPB

Pittsburgh, PA

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#15
Apr 1, 2008
 
Steve G wrote:
<quoted text>
I would agree that the Cavs have enough talent around LeBron at this time to win a championship. The problem is that this happened late in the season with a big trade. You don't take 6 players (2 of them starters, and 2 others playing significant minutes) off the team and add 4 more (again 2 starters and bench players who will get significant minutes) without it taking some time to work out. Add in the injuries, and it just gets harder.
What really baffled me in the game Sunday was, Sasha was benched in favor of Devin Brown. Ok, fine, Brown looked really good during that stretch where he started 8-10 games. Playing the wing, waiting for LeBron to dish, attacking the basket at times. But why was Sasha on bench the entire game? He didn't play at all. How do you go from starting to 0 minutes?
The Cavs will continue to shuffle line-ups, and try to find things that work leading up to the playoffs. But they probably won't find that perfect solution by then. So next season will be where we see the proof (if all the players are back and not dealing with long term injuries).
That was my take yesterday. Changing the rotation is one thing, completely benching a starter at this point in the season is dumb! That is something you do to a player when you are planning to get rid of them.
I'm not surprised however, Mike Brown has a history of making similar "decisions". Devin Brown had a number of DNF's earlier this year, Sasha's been in that situation before, Damon Jones, etc.

Bottom line is that Mike Brown has no clue!
RPB

Pittsburgh, PA

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#16
Apr 1, 2008
 
I don't want to be labeled as being a doom and gloomer...

Go Cavs!
Dinner Bell Mel

Alameda, CA

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#17
Apr 1, 2008
 
I agree with a lot of what is being said here today, but I can't understand the issue with Sasha being benched. He should never have been put back in the starting lineup to begin with. He has been beyond atrocious offensively this year (.362 from the field - come on!) for whatever reason. He's average defensively. That's the only reason to give him significant minutes right now, and it's not enough. Devin Brown has been put in the linueup ahead of Jones, Gibson, and Szczerbiak for exactly the same reason, but Brown has been more effective on offense by a lot shot. Sasha, Newble, Snow - those players are canaries in the coal mine for what is wrong with Mike Brown as a head coach. He simply can't recognize that the team's bigger problems are on offense, and prefers the safety of trying to grind out close games and let "Lebron do what he does" and try and win at the end. In a sense, you can't blame him, because he's had some success with that strategy. But not only is it ugly when it doesn't work, the personnel on this team has shifted enough that it's not necessary or even advisable. There are enough long range (Gibson, Szcerbiak, Jones) and mid range (Z, Smith) shooters on the team that you can surround Lebron with two of them at all times and devote one position to defense - Wallace or Varejao. The other player can be West or Brown if we need defense, or another scorer if we need offense. But the team's offense shuts down with any combination of Wallace/Varejao and Sasha (except for the what 10 good shooting games he's had this season out of 47), especially against good defensive teams.
Sure sign

Akron, OH

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#18
Apr 1, 2008
 
If Dan Gilbert puts the team up for sale in the next few years, then I would guarantee that LeBron is gone. Gilbert is riding a wave and the value of that wave is at its highest right now.
tmurda2240

Petersburg, VA

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#19
Apr 1, 2008
 

Judged:

1

East Side Joe wrote:
<quoted text>
Right on brother. I sure hate to be negative but try these tempting markets/growing metro areas on for size. We should never fool ourselves. Remember what happened to the Browns.
1) Seattle Cavaliers (should the Super Sonics leave) ranked 15th nationally in population. Growing population.
2) St. Louis Cavaliers (grew 4% from 2000 to 2007 while Cleveland shrunk 2.4 percent. Ranks 18th nationally.
3) Tampa Cavaliers. Rank=14, growing.
4) Cincinnati Cavaliers. Don't laugh. Ranks ahead of Cleveland and is one of the few northern cities that is growing. Market reaches into Kentucky.
5) Kansas City Cavaliers. Ranks below Cleveland but is growing.
6) Las Vegas Cavaliers. Ranks 30th but grew 33% between 2000 and 2007. Will soon pass Baltimore in size.
7) Baltimore Cavaliers. Wouldn't that be an insult.
8) Austin Cavaliers. Ranks 37th but grew 27% between 2000 and 2007. A first class city in a basketball state.
Some of these metro areas are not serious candidates for a team for one reason or another but who knows. Others metros are very ready. If a team can seriously consider a move to Oklahoma City...well.
Someone has a little too much time on their hands.
Josh

AOL

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#20
Apr 1, 2008
 
Too much time on his hands or not, he's onto something there. No LeBron = No Cleveland Cavaliers. You can bank that.

Now... I have big-time issues with the ripping of Sasha Pavlovic. Last postseason, he defended DeShawn "I cant shut my mouth to save my life" Stevenson (19% shooting), Vince Carter (another playoff choke in a career full of them), and Rip Hamilton (his worst playoff series in years). Manu Ginobili destroyed him in the Finals, fine. Sasha, IMO, did not get enough credit for the way he played in the playoffs last year. He's still a young player, and he's got very good upside, and it never hurts to be a 6'7 shooting guard who can run. Let's be a little patient, guys, MIKE? Devin Brown is a role player, not a starter. Get serious.

It's almost as if that NBA Finals sweep just erased all that great stuff on the way to getting there. The Cavs played GREAT basketball from April until the Finals. That HAPPENED. And with Larry limping around on a hangnail and Drew disappearing for stretches. We have a solid 10-12 guys on the roster now. Let's make it happen, Mike!! Wake up, time to shine!!
RPB

Coraopolis, PA

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#21
Apr 1, 2008
 
Josh wrote:
Too much time on his hands or not, he's onto something there. No LeBron = No Cleveland Cavaliers. You can bank that.
Now... I have big-time issues with the ripping of Sasha Pavlovic. Last postseason, he defended DeShawn "I cant shut my mouth to save my life" Stevenson (19% shooting), Vince Carter (another playoff choke in a career full of them), and Rip Hamilton (his worst playoff series in years). Manu Ginobili destroyed him in the Finals, fine. Sasha, IMO, did not get enough credit for the way he played in the playoffs last year. He's still a young player, and he's got very good upside, and it never hurts to be a 6'7 shooting guard who can run. Let's be a little patient, guys, MIKE? Devin Brown is a role player, not a starter. Get serious.
It's almost as if that NBA Finals sweep just erased all that great stuff on the way to getting there. The Cavs played GREAT basketball from April until the Finals. That HAPPENED. And with Larry limping around on a hangnail and Drew disappearing for stretches. We have a solid 10-12 guys on the roster now. Let's make it happen, Mike!! Wake up, time to shine!!
I totally agree. "Let's make it happen" is right (that means you Mike Brown)!

Dinner Bell Mel is way off on the Sasha thing. Sasha is damn good when he is playing with confidence. Problem is, Mike Brown sucks the confidence right out of him by pulling crap like he did on Sunday!
East Side Joe

Chevy Chase, MD

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#22
Apr 1, 2008
 
tmurda2240 wrote:
<quoted text>
Someone has a little too much time on their hands.
It takes five minutes to look this stuff up. There is a new invention that helps. It's called the internet. Google? Heard of it?
Josh

AOL

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#23
Apr 1, 2008
 
Dont sweat it Joe. If I've learned one thing from being on these boards and on Windy's comments, it's that statistics and facts are VERY intimidating to most fans. They'd much rather stick to their misguided opinions and negative vibes. Besides, the facts usually get in the way of a "good" argument, and what's the fun in that?

I've been making excuses for this coaching staff all season long, and yes, it has been a turbulent season with all the injuries and setbacks, but when the playoffs start, the excuses stop. The whole "we havent had time to gel" line wont get it done if we tank in the postseason. I think this team is formidable if all the pieces get healthy, and the pressure is on Mike Brown to make it work. Get the job done, coach!

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