Cavs lose 104-86…fire Mike Brown!

I mean you gotta fire Mike Brown by Wednesday afternoon right? He obviously forgot to mention in his pregame chalk talk that the Cavaliers would need to ‘try hard’ tonight.  Only he shouldn’t have had too.  And just as nobody in Cleveland was accusing Mike Brown of making halftime adjustments to turn Game One around in the 3rd quarter on Saturday, nobody should be dropping the blame for tonight’s effort blowout loss on his doorstep either.  He wasn’t perfect, but to blame Mike Brown would be to excuse the players who took the court tonight with zero effort, zero enthusiasm, zero energy, zero pride, and zero competitiveness.  From top to bottom, this entire team played inspiringly awful basketball, and if they play like this again on Friday, they will lose again.  Only I don’t see how its possible they could play this collectively bad again…and least I hope its not possible.  Because while I’m not panicking now, if they lose by 18 again on Friday, well…let me just rant about tonight, get it out of my system, and prepare to move on…

Rondo made the Cavaliers look like fools tonight.  You couldn’t help but be reminded of Bob Cousy by the way that Rondo played here in Game Two, and by the way Shaq played, you also couldn’t help but be reminded that he’s about as old as Bob Cousy these days.  Two more games like this it might be time to pull the plug on that…painful Big Fella…mix in a little touch from 3 feet out, you can’t just whip it off the glass so hard.  But back to Rondo, he just ran wild.  No surprise here, the Cavs have no answer for Rondo.  They tripped him up some in game one running length out at him on the perimeter, but he adjusted to that wrinkle tonight to the tune of 13-4-19.  19 assists. And this is where I get back to Mike Brown…who guards Rondo then?  Mo can’t cover him, AP can’t cover him, Delonte – who I thought could cover him – can’t cover him, and when Moon got in he was launching airballs tonight so what do you do?  Zone or just hope he’s having an off night?  I don’t know, but I do know that effort would help, and the Cavs had no effort tonight.

Speaking of no effort, how many times do you think Mo Williams’ watched that highlight of him dunking over Paul Pierce over the last two days by now?  I’m betting a lot, because he’s still living off that game one performance.  And I’m not even asking Mo to carry the team or anything, but for the sake of Fog Raw get to 10 points at least right?  4 points for Mr. Gotti on 1 of 9 from the field.  Not good Maurice, not good.  I guess Jamison was alright, 16 points with 6 boards, on 6 of 11 shooting but he was just alright…on the offensive side of things that is.  Defensively he was like a fountain of youth for Garnett, and stop fronting him too while you’re at it.  Rondo lobbed it over Jamison’s head what seemed like 4 times in the second half for easy lay-ups.  Put your hand up to make that a tougher pass or play behind him, that was a joke.  18 and 10 for KG, and 22 points for Ray Allen, but the biggest joke of all was Rasheed showing up with 17.  And I don’t mean joke actually because it wasn’t funny, or even fathomable before the game.  I actually scoffed at the notion that Rasheed could be a difference maker tonight on our Wine and Gold Podcast….great call by me…Rasheed outplayed any and everybody the Cavaliers brought off the bench, and I really can’t see that happening again.  Although I couldn’t even imagine that possible tonight, so who knows.  

And who knows how bad LeBron’s elbow’s jacked up either for that matter.  I’m guessing it hurts some, and he may need to get in touch with Sean Payton tonight to numb the pain.  Elbow aside though, LeBron looked lethargic overall, and he looked completely uninterested for most of the game. He still did post a line that read 24-7-5, which seems crazy, because it pretty much looked all night like he’s the reason they lost.  Part of me though thinks that if on an off night, he still gives you 24-7-5 that should be enough…only it wasn’t even close to enough.  He looked tentative, only scored three in the first half, and looked, well, not like LeBron. Oh yeah, and he looked hurt, which isn’t good, but I refuse to lump elbowgate into the mix with Mesa and Byner at this point so just relax on that.  He has three days to get this thing better, and hopefully he does, because if he comes out and plays like he did tonight again, well, like I said, I’m not going to panic.

Which leads me to some takeaways.  Number one, I can’t see the Cavs playing this bad again.  I can’t see Rasheed going for 17 again.  I can’t see Mo going 1 for 9 again, I can’t see Parker – after making his first two shots - to miss every shot after that to finish the game 2 of 7, and I can’t see six Celtics finishing in double figures again.  I can see Hickson causing some problems offensively, but he’s going to have to step up on the defensive end as well if he’s going to be able to get extended minutes because Rasheed just toyed with him.  But most of all, I don’t see LeBron approaching the game like he did tonight.  LeBron let his team lose tonight, and they might lose one more, but there’s no way I see LeBron allowing the Cavaliers to lose to the Celtics four times even if he has to play with one arm to close this thing out. I personally thought they’d lose twice, and tonight they lost one of those two.  Win on Friday in Boston and you get homecourt advantage back just as quickly as you lost it.  Lose on Friday?  Well they won’t, so don’t worry about it.  Cavs in Six, let’s move on.  And what’s Fabulous always say?  The past’s the past, right?  Let’s make tonight the past as soon as we can…that was rough…but it will get better from here, I promise.

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

Quantcast