The Cavs hiring Mike Brown less than one week after they fired Byron Scott is going to raise a lot of eyebrows. This move seems to me in reading the initial reaction from fans to be relatively polarizing. The number of jokes has been overwhelming. The ridiculous discussion of what this does to the Cavs’ chances at securing that guy from Miami in 2014 has already started. What is missed in the sea of jokes and speculation is what this does for our basketball team. Mike Brown already has the job but let me make a case for him.
You win with defense!
The Cavs have been a terrible defensive team. They have been in the bottom 5 in the league in defensive efficiency in the past 3 years. The biggest reason for that is the team on the floor. The Cavs are young and do not have an elite defender on the perimeter. Alonzo Gee is well above average but I don’t have him in the class of lockdown defender. Kyrie Irving can’t stay with the best point guards in the league. Those facts are not on the coach. However, even with the Lakers roster in 2011-2012, Mike Brown had that team in the middle of the pack in defense. Maybe I’m missing something, but that does not seem like a great defensive team. Mike Brown has proven he can coach defense and I think that he will continue to do that. Our schemes against pick and roll and defending the three point line have been awful and will get better with Mike Brown. He will DEMAND defense from this team, something that hasn’t happened lately. Will this Cavs team be a top 5 defensive team like it was twice during his first tenure? I don’t think we have the talent but if we finish in the bottom 5 again we made the wrong choice.
Brown is a tireless worker
I’m not around the Cavs on a daily basis but everything I read and hear is that Mike Brown is the type of coach that gets there early and stays late. He started as a video coordinator which means he knows how to break down film and spends the time to do it. He will get the most out of the young players as he did with Daniel Gibson and Sasha Pavlovic in spurts the first time around. He took a team with Eric Snow at point guard to the Finals. Yes, everything is easier with the ultra-star LeBron, but if you look at this team does it scream Finals to you? He should foster our core’s growth and be able to build the veterans around into a playoff team.
Does Brown have questions to answer on offense? Yes. He needs to pick a scheme and work it to perfection. Does Brown have to prove his ability to handle a superstar? Yes. If you point at how LeBron didn’t “listen” to him you should point at the entire organization. Arguably the two biggest deficits the Cavs have in regards to coaching are being addressed with Mike Brown, a coach who has been to the finals. He will should take this young energetic team and put that energy to work on defense which will allow our athletes to run the floor. I for one am on board with the hiring and think that this team will get better quickly.