The Cavs in a mess, just like Steve Nash's face
With apologies to Gomer:
Surprise, surprise, surprise.
Mike Brown’s out as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers (here’s Brian’s story with all the gory details) and not things are going to get really interesting down there.
And, of course, it all has to do with LeBron James.
That Brown’s gone is not a shock at all, I don’t think he did a particularly good job with in-game decisions, he seemed to be coaching scared in the final stages of the cave-in to Boston and maybe it’s just time his run was over. Five years is a long shelf life for just about any coach, it seems.
But what’s it mean for LeBron?
Do you think the Cavs owner (and make no mistake about it, Dan Gilbert’s going to make this decision) is going to check with James to see who he’d like as the guy in charge next year?
And how fraught with peril is that?
Now, it seems everything the Cavs have done for seven years has been to cowtow kowtow to what LeBron wanted, from teammates to style of play to, yes, even coaching decisions.
But what if you give him carte blanche now and he still starts feeling restless and explores all the myriad opportunities that are out there for him this summer?
Does it mean the team has to wait until after July 1 to hire a new coach, leaving any moves between now and the hands of GM Danny Ferry (whose own contract doesn’t extend beyond then and whose job cannot be seen as guaranteed by any stretch)?
These are not good times for the Cavs at all.
Here’s one for you: If you’re an unemployed coach, and there’s even a remote possibility James won’t be with the Cavs next season, do you even want the job?
You’ve got no James and you know that’s probably going to mean playing before a half-empty arena.
You won’t have Ilgauskas or Shaq, leaving a front court of Anderson Varejao and J.J. Hickson.
You don’t have an athletic wing who can create his own shot and everyone else only thrived because of the presence of James.
Do you really want the job? I would imagine that there won’t be a whole lot of interest from too many accomplished coaches in that vacancy. In fact, I think it goes to the bottom of the list, even below the Clippers, of desirable employmen possibilities.
Now that I understand it’s over, I can say with a measure of pride that not once in its entire run did I see as much as a single episode of Lost.
How many among you think the Orlando Magic have any chance at all tonight in the close-out game in Boston?
I don’t, which means they’ll probably win by 20 but that’s just my Midas touch.
Anyway, no matter if the series gets extended for a couple of nights or not, I don’t believe there’s a rational-thinking person among us who believes the Magic can come all the way back and what we’ve witnessed is a flameout of epic proportions.
I’m not just talking about missed shots, that’s going to happen, and I thought the Magic had enough firepower to overcome Rashard Lewis doing a Channing Frye imitation.
No, I’m talking about the mental flameout where they simply didn’t compete and cowered in the face of the Celtics. That’s the most troubling aspect of the first three games (Game 3 was an embarrassment) and the one thing that they have to fix.
Major change? I don’t know, there are lots of big contracts that might be hard to move but they need some toughness and grit.
The Magic remind me a bit of the Raptors in two regards: They seem to get their defensive intensity off their offence, which is the wrong way to go about things; and they are front-runners of the first order.
They, like so many other teams, seem to lack that one take-charge guy who can get in the face of teammates and demand more accountability and better performance.
It’s certainly not a situation unique to Orlando – I can probably rattle off a dozen and a half teams that need improvement in that area – but because so much had been expected of the Magic, its absence is glaring.
Steve Nash gets that ugly gash over his eye in the Spurs series (still looks a bit discoloured even now) and then it sounds like he might have broken his nose in a head bonk with Derek Fisher last night.
Guess modeling might be not be the next career of choice.
In light of the Mike Brown development, here’s a question left over from the mail last week. And because we’re hard-pressed to come up with nuggets every day at this time of year, remember to click here to send a question and we’ll parcel them out during the week when need be.
Q: Hi Doug. In your Friday morning blog you referred to LeBron choosing his coach as being allowed to say who his boss is. Do players, coaches, and whomever else think of coaches as players' bosses? Or is it more of an equal-but-different relationship? Any chance you have a Raps anecdotes to give some insight here?
Dave H, Kenora
A: They do, actually, in a lot of regards because coaches have the ultimate authority over one significant thing: Playing time.
Now, like most good work places, there’s a level of mutual respect between worker and boss and in the very best organizations, the relationship allows both to thrive.
Of course, it’s a bit clouded by the fact the boss (coach) doesn’t determine the salary, that’s the GMs job, but there are recommendations forwarded upstairs from coaches that have an impact on pay.
There aren’t a lot of specific boss-worker anecdotes around the Raptors, although when you ask a player who isn’t playing a lot whether he feels he should be playing more, you’ll get a facetious “ask him, he’s the boss” comment every now and then.
Oh, don’t forget to get back here tonight just before 8:30 for our in-game blog thing, it’s a really cool place to be. Honest.
And if you’re driving around between 5-7 tonight, like coming back from a holiday weekend or something, you’ll be able to hears some major league bluffing about the pucks if you turn on The FAN590 in Toronto. Yes, a special guest appearance for a couple of hours to tax my knowledge of sports I know little about.
Lucky, lucky listeners.