"It's not fair, but it's necessary."
That pretty much explains my thoughts about Mike Brown's termination late last night. Brown, the Cavaliers' all-time winningest coach in franchise history with 272 regular season wins and a 42-29 postseason record, was let go before his contract structure guaranteed him more money toward next season. With just ten days to determine his fate after their season ended surprisingly premature, the Cavs didn't really have a choice.
The fans have been calling for Mike Brown's head, and I cannot blame them. After having the best regular-season team for two straight seasons, the team failed to even make it to the NBA Finals in either season. In the first three seasons, Brown's team were gutsy, defensive-heavy, and they overachieved into Game 7 of the second round against the Pistons, the NBA Finals against San Antonio, and took the champion Celtics to Game 7 of the second round respectively.
But, in the last two seasons, when the team's talent was far superior, they underachieved. Some will argue that Brown was outcoached in the fateful series by Stan Van Gundy last season and Doc Rivers this season. I support that notion, but not wholly, because there were matchup disadvantages that Brown could not erase with any amount of time, strategy, and adjustments. Last year, it was Hedo Turkoglu, Dwight Howard, and Rashard Lewis, the formidable frontcourt of the Orlando Magic. This year, one word, RONDO! There's no doubt, however, that small adjustments could have been made to swing in a game the other way last season and this season. For instance, Rashard Lewis hit a game-winning shot with Ben Wallace trying to cover him last season. This year, we can look to the fact that J.J. Hickson and a banged up Anderson Varejao did not get as much time as the Shaq-Jamison frontcourt which never truly bonded together.