I like the Sergey Karasev pick even more now that the Cavs have added talent in free agency. The kid is only 19 so he needs time to develop. With the current roster Mike Brown can bring him along slowly, and hopefully let him focus on spot-up threes to stretch the defense.
Andrew Bynum struck all the right chords today in his introductory press conference. He talked about playing a full season, putting in the work and getting the Cavs to the playoffs. I like how he spoke about his relationship with Mike Brown as well. Let’s hope his effort matches his words.
The Cavs shocked almost everyone when they took Anthony Bennett in the first round, disappointing some fans but also letting the rest of us breath a sigh of relief. I wanted pretty much anyone other than Nerlens Noel, so I was fine with this pick. The the Cavs pleased most of their fans as Sergey Karasev fell to them at #19 and they pulled the trigger. Here are some initial observations:
– I’m thrilled that they went with two guys who know how to score and can shoot. The Cavs desperately needed offense, and I didn’t want a project like Noel who only brought defense and dunks.
– Most experts believe Bennett will be a real force with the pick-and-roll, so he can be a perfect fit with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.
– Karasev is also an excellent compliment as he can shoot well from the outside, so he can be a great outlet for Irving and Waiters when they drive to the rim.
– Bennett looks like a beast; a little like a Charles Barkley or Larry Johnson type player. Who knows if he’ll approach their level of success, but the guy looks like a baller.
– Both players have very high basketball IQs. They know how to pass the ball and involve teammates.
– I’m not worried about their defense. Mike Brown will make sure they learn how to play, and defense is all about effort and can be taught.
– Noel was a major risk, and he’s a much better fit for a team like Philly that is tanking now for next year’s lottery. The Cavs are too far along in their rebuilding process to wait for a player coming off a torn ACL.
Overall, I like what Chris Grant is doing. Let’s hope the team can stay healthy and we see real improvement this season.
I have no problem with this. Here are some initial observations:
– As I said before, it’s hard to say that Byron Scott had to go. The Cavs were very young and suffered a ton of injuries. That said, there was clearly something missing and I can’t get too upset that Dan Gilbert decided to make a change. The rumblings are that Scott really didn’t work that hard, and they’re clearly happy getting a “grinder” like Brown back in the fold.
– The only reason Brown was fired the first time around had to do with LeBron James, who was sulking like a baby and refusing to give the Cavs any idea of his plans before he took his ego and talents to South Beach. Gilbert rolled the dice, hoping that a coaching change would convince LeBron to stay. But the big baby was gone anyways and he didn’t have enough class to let the Cavs know before they dumped Brown.
– Mike Brown reminds me of Marty Schottenheimer and Mike Hargrove – an excellent coaches who can’t seem to adjust their regular season formulas to the postseason, so perhaps we’ll be screaming about Brown in the future. But Brown will get the most out of his talent by stressing defense so like those guys he’ll at least get decent teams to the playoffs. Brown was outcoached several years ago against Orlando, but I still think LeBron James deserves much more of the blame for the failure of the Cavs to win a championship during his tenure. The world saw LeBron’s weak character when he let the Heat wilt against the Mavs, but we saw previews of that here in Cleveland. He had a meltdown versus Boston, and if you go back to that Orlando series you’ll see plenty of pathetic plays from LeBron, like chucking up lazy threes at the worst possible time.
– I don’t buy the argument that the Cavs have been waiting for LeBron to come back in 2014. They went young because that’s what made sense. They are set up nicely again with this draft and with the cap, so now Chris Grant has to earn his money and put some talent around Kyrie.
– Mike Brown will teach Kyrie how to play defense, and if Kyrie resists, we don’t want him around anyways.
In the end, Brown wants to be in Cleveland and he’s a very solid choice. They can now focus on building a contender for the long haul.
Is anyone surprised that the Los Angeles Lakers fired Mike Brown? Bill Simmons had a pretty funny take on the situation.
This Week 10 picks column is dedicated to the immortal Mike Brown, the only person who ever figured out a way to stop LeBron James and someone on whom I was counting to screw up the 2012-13 Lakers season. If you noticed, I rarely if ever made Mike Brown jokes in columns or podcasts or even on TV — I was hoping he’d hang around for years and years and years, almost like the coaching version of an STD. Mike Brown was the kind of guy who shrugged off halftime adjustments and thought it would be smart to have Steve Nash run the Princeton offense — which is something you run when you have future lawyers and doctors running your team, not someone who’s one of the smartest offensive point guards of all time. The Mike Brown era was like planting my own personal mole into every Lakers season. As an avowed Laker hater, this is a tough day. I’m not gonna lie.
R.I.P., the Mike Brown Lakers era. May we reach those same beautiful heights again someday soon. And on that note, let’s bounce back with some Week 10 NFL winners.