Don’t listen to the “experts,” Mike…


Mike Brown has been getting absolutely lampooned lately for his “coaching” or lack thereof in the playoffs, especially during the Finals. It seems that everyone has their own great solution to the Cavs’ problems. Someone says to play a smaller lineup. Another “analyst” suggests to play zone defense. Everyone seems to have an opinion about how to help the Cavs make this an actual series. But, what if they can’t? Maybe Cleveland just isn’t a very good basketball team. It was rumored that one loud “commentator” even suggested having Eric Snow guard Tony Parker.

The assumption that playing a smaller lineup against the Spurs will make things all better is absolutely preposterous. Let’s assume that when people say “small” they mean playing Gibson, Hughes, Pavlovic, James, and Varejao. First of all, Tim Duncan is the most complete and fundamental big man in the league right now (his all-time greatness can be discussed at a later date). Is he really going to be contained by a fluffy-haired-Macy-Gray-look-a-like? Ilgauskas isn’t a “Duncan-stopper” or anything, but at least he’s a huge body to throw at TD. Besides, with Macy Gray flopping around everywhere, he/she can’t rebound as well as normal, which takes away from his/her strength.

more after the jump

What’s the main objective when a team goes small, anyway? Usually, teams go small to raise the tempo of the game. To the naked eye, the Spurs look like a team who might struggle against an up-tempo pace. But, if the Cavs went with their small lineup, the Spurs could counter with Duncan playing the five. That gives them a lineup of Parker, Ginobli, Bowen, Horry, and Duncan. The Spurs still have three of the best four players on the court. Also, the Suns run a pretty quick tempo, and the Spurs handled that pretty well. The only advantage that the small lineup gives the Cavs is Gibson guarding Parker. Maybe Parker doesn’t go off like he has been. Now, though, the Spurs have three other perimeter players who can score. Not to mention, Hughes still has to guard somebody, and there are questions as to whether or not he can keep Vin Baker away from the basket right now.

How about a zone then? Brown should pack in a 2-3 zone to eliminate the drive and neutralize Duncan, right? In a word, no. The Spurs have too many perimeter options for this to work. Parker has played so well, the zone will have to respect him when he puts the ball on the floor; so when he attacks the seams of the zone, that will leave Ginobli, Bowen, Horry open for threes. And as for the Duncan factor, he’s not the best big man in the game for nothing. He’s seen double-teams, triple-teams, and zone-traps before. In the zone, Brown will still have to decide if he is going to single Duncan or double him. Either way, it’s a poison pill.

So, what’s the solution? Honestly, Coach Brown, pack it in. Try and get swept. Go out of your way (shouldn’t be that hard) to absolutely get boat-raced in the next two games. That will give management the message that LeBron and the “Other Four” can win the next five Eastern Conference championships, but the West will prevail in the Finals every time. Mike Brown, a lot of people are trying to tell you a lot of things, but take it from us… lose the next two and get a couple more players.


3 Responses to “Don’t listen to the “experts,” Mike…”

  1. TheGoldfishCowboy Says:

    If old LeBron would stop bitching and just give the ball to younger LeBron they wouldn’t be in this situation…

    Wait what? That was a what?

  2. eDayStat Says:

    Even as a Spurs fan I find this Finals disappointing. It’s just not fun to make one guy miserable and the rest of the team look like middle schoolers every night.

  3. TheGoldfishCowboy Says:

    Could be worse, could’ve lost to the Warriors in the first series

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