When I woke up to the news that the Cavaliers may actually be ready to fire head coach Mike Brown yesterday morning, I could not believe my ears. This team won 66 games this season. This is also a team that just posted the best home record in franchise history at 40-2.
Plus, he added a Coach of the Year award to his resume this past season. Now, the Cavs front office wants to shove him out the door. That's a nice thank you for someone who has done nothing but work his hardest and been as committed as anyone to the success of the Cavs franchise.
We can argue until we are blue in the face about the job that Brown has done here. These are what the facts are. Since Mike Brown has taken over as head coach, he has averaged 53 wins a season.
In the four seasons he has been the head coach the Cavaliers have reached the postseason and never once lost in the first round. The players have finally bought into his system and his way of doing things.
This may be LeBron James' team, but there finally seems to be a mutual respect for each other and understanding of the role that each of them play on the team.
No longer are you hearing silly rumors of control battles between him and LeBron. Add that to the fact that he was named the Coach of the Year this season, and Mike Brown, for all intents and purposes, is not the problem with this team.
Is a Brown a perfect coach? Certainly not. He still has trouble using the right players in his rotation, he is still yet to find a way to get the offense to move around and get ball rotation so that LeBron is not doing all the work, and he still needs to be able to adopt and make adjustments when other team deviate from their game plan and try something else.
For all of his faults, though, he still wins you 53 games a season and gives you a deep playoff run. Most other teams would be thrilled if they got that from a first-time head coach.
You may say that Mike Brown was out-coached by Stan Van Gundy during the Eastern Conference Finals. Consider this, though: Was he out-coached, or was the roster that he was given exposed for what it truly was?
It would not be to out of reach to say that the hand dealt to him was more of a team that had more older players who may have once been significant NBA superstars, but are now at the end of the road, and young promising players along with one of the best in the game.
The front office was just hoping to get by with this team, and judging by the 3-11 record against the NBA's elite, it was only a matter of time before they were exposed. That is exactly what happened against the Magic.
Making a case to fire Mike Brown could be done, but only if you have the right case to make. The way the season ended is disappointing, but for years, everyone has known how to fix the problem, so we do not have to have the heartbreak that we have experienced the past few years.
Danny Ferry and the Cavs' front office have not done much about it. They have gone and done exactly the opposite looking to fill holes in this roster with second-tier options or players who once were of superstar status, but now are at the end of their careers and barley sufficient at best.
Mo Williams and Delonte West are not bad players, but they are not going to get the Cavaliers to the promised land on their own, either.
Now, the front office wants to find a replacement for the coach that has given more success during his four-year tenure then a lot of others may have with the same type of option. Pat Riley is one of the game's greatest, and to try to undo or discredit anything that he has done would be absolutely foolish.
Riley is legendary, and the thoughts of him coming here and working his magic is intriguing.
Intriguing as it may be, there are some concerns that follow that, such as: Can he really come Cleveland and win a championship? Sure, he won one in Miami, but he is older, and what desire does he really have to rescue desperate franchises?
Is the thought of having a proven legendary coach enough to make LeBron stay, even if the Cavs do not win one under Riley next season? What reason would Riley have for leaving the warm weather and sunny skies of Miami, anyway? These are concerns that deserve consideration.
Mike Brown has a lot to learn still, but let's wait until we see if he was able to use this past postseason to learn and how it translates into next season, provided the front office makes the necessary adjustments, before we try to make a case to fire him. He deserves that much.
The head coach of this team is not the problem; the decisions that are being made by the front office are. The front office of this team has put themselves in a very uncomfortable situation. It will be very interesting how they handle this offseason.
Hopefully, they will not take their mistakes out on the wrong person.
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