Dear Mike Brown,
What are you doing, dude? You know this is...uh, kind of crunch time, right?
Every time I think you've improved as a coach or found some understanding of basketball, you let me down.
Last season your team won 66 games, was anointed as the NBA's best team, had the best player and MVP...and still got exposed in six games against The Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
This season, your Cavaliers won 61 games (the first since MJ's Bulls to win 60 games in back-to-back seasons), were anointed as the league's best team, have the MVP--again--and might be on the verge of getting exposed--again.
This isn't disrespectful to the Boston Celtics at all, but those boys from Beantown shouldn't be dropping the Cavs by 18...at home. They have five good players, six if Rasheed Wallace continues to drink from the fountain of youth.
Kevin Garnett and his one and a half knees are abusing Antawn Jamison, Mo Williams is still dizzy from chasing Rajon Rondo around the court and Shaq can't make a shot from three feet.
There's no disputing the fact that for six and a half of the series' eight quarters the Celtics have looked like the better team. And it's really not even close. The Celtics have rebounded better, shot better, played better defense and severely limited the Cavs' supporting cast.
Yet, there hasn't been any real adjustment from Coach Brown.
No zone, no different personnel groupings, nothing. Just a look of confusion and, at times, desperation. This is after only two games...at home.
The solution here is so clear that you don't need those thick, horned-rimmed glasses Brown wears to see it.
My four-year-old nephew can see it. Perhaps though, TNT's Charles Barkley said it best during the halftime show of Game 2, which was essentially that Cleveland needed to speed up the tempo and use their bench to wear down the Celtics.
Doesn't that make a lot of sense to normal people? Considering that Boston likes to play, outside of Rajon Rondo, at a slow, plodding almost snail-like pace.
Let's face it, LeBron James is the league's best finisher, Jamison can hit a shot from any angle, emerging power forward J.J. Hickson can outrun the Celtics' bigs and the veteran guard trio of Williams, Anthony Parker and Delonte West can be lights-out shooters. Give these guys some more time together and run.
It's not difficult.
And as we all know, the elephant in the room is James, who does seem to be showing some side effects from his elbow injury and will possibly bolt Cleveland via free agency come July 1. Falling to Boston (even though the Cleveland could possibly have a lot of cap space after the season) might make James' decision a little harder...or easier.
If the first two games are any indication, losing the series--something that seemed not very likely a week ago--is a real possibility for the Cavaliers. So is losing LeBron.
So Mike, get it together, or you'll be the reason why The King finds greener pastures...in a bigger market.
***Get at Sherrell McMillan here***