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Cavaliers front office just looks, acts stunned

May 14, 2010, 4:38 PM EDT

cavaliers.jpgFirst, team owner Dan Gilbert stepped up to the mike (well, sort of, there was no podium so he just looked exposed).

“Obviously we’re very disappointed…it’s one of those things that you can’t believe it,” he said in a televised press conference.

Then General Manager Danny Ferry took the stage and didn’t sound like a guy that had been working on a Plan B.

“I think Dan and I need to sit down and review things. Then we’ll go from there,” Ferry said.

If there was one over-arcing feeling from the post-season press conferences for the Cleveland Cavaliers front office, it was that everyone was stunned. Disappointed, for sure, but caught off guard by the loss to the Celtics in round two. Shell shocked. After the first round of the playoffs they thought they were on the way to a title.

Now they are looking at a crazy amount of potential changes in one season – a coach, the best player in the game, a $20 million center all could be gone. Or not. There are a lot of variables.

What we know is right now Mike Brown has not yet been fired as head coach. Pretty much everybody knows that is what is going to happen, but Gilbert said that he wants to evaluate everything to do with the team — “we’ll look at the music we play in the arena” — then start going down whatever path they choose. Brown will not join them on that path, but nobody was going to say that today.

The bigger question is if Danny Ferry will be on that road. He had a defensive minded coach but kept giving him players like Shaquille O’Neal and Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams — not exactly defensive stalwarts. He has spent to rebuild the roster, but has he done it wisely enough?

The biggest question is LeBron James and what he decides to do. And nobody knows that right now. Probably not even James. He will not make a decision until early July at best.

But he impacts every other decision for the Cavs. He will have some sway — maybe a ton of sway — in the search for a new coach. Same with potential free agents to be brought in. He dramatically impacts the revenue the franchise will pull in from ticket sales and sponsorships, changing the equation on the payroll expenditures short and long term. While the coach and general manager will be the first decisions to be made, no other dominoes can fall until LeBron makes his decision.

Gilbert said that he thinks the Cavaliers are in the middle of the sweepstakes for LeBron (he’s right about that).

“I think this is the best franchise for him to play at,” he said.

Gilbert did seem to have one direction he wanted to follow — he wants a team built more for the playoffs.

“I guess if there is one takeaway here, is having the best regular season record in the NBA is not as important… as we thought it was, as I thought it was,” he said.

He sounded sincere, talking about trying to learn from the franchises mistakes. He also sounded stunned.

  1. BW - May 14, 2010 at 6:13 PM

    When you have a front office that isn’t sure what it is doing…then that shows up throughout the rest of the organization too.
    Fire Mike Brown? Kinda stupid! Over the last few years, how many coaches in the league have had better results than him? ~Pick a number~. Now out of that number, how many of THOSE coaches are likely to come coach the Cavs, mmm?
    None? Then who the h*ll would they be firing Mike Brown to get??
    If you have a very good team and coaching staff…then maybe you need try keeping them together (with small changes). Yes, they have failed to win a championship the last few years. But that is an extremely difficult task that takes years to achieve.
    The Cavs are not HUGE failures for not winning a ring. It is NORMAL for it to take years to get there. Any huge changes will just set them back for several more years.
    The question is: does the Cavs owner & front office have the COURAGE to keep nurturing what has gotten them this far?

  2. one more thing - May 14, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    The idea that Shaq was gonna help this team win a title was a major failure for the front office — not Mike Brown, Lebron, or the players.
    A $15 million dollar statue?? NO THANKS!!

  3. MJAN - May 15, 2010 at 6:56 AM

    Shaq was there to stop Dwight Howard, but against a more mobile center like Perkins, he looked bad. Mo Williams, except for the first half of game 6, disappeared in the playoffs once again. Jamison’s shortcomings on defense were badly exposed by Garnett. And let’s face it, watching the Celts rotate the ball for a wide-open trey became commonplace — the entire defense looked like crap. The King’s passive play in game 5 was baffling, but in reality, the rest of the team did not play well — and the Celtics, particularly their much maligned bench, did play well. Mike Brown never seemed to have his player rotations worked out, but then again, the team he had entering the playoffs never did play all together during the regular season due to injuries and the trade. Ultimately, while Mike Brown didn’t play Hickson enough or put Gibson or Jawad Williams on the floor to help run the Celtics into the ground, it was the players who were on the court that failed to do their jobs. There were plenty of open shots to be had — they didn’t make them. There were plenty of defensive lapses, and even more turnovers. It may well be that you fire the coach because you can’t fire all of the players, but that still wouldn’t put the blame where it belongs — on the shoulders of the players. As for Danny Ferry, he’s rebuilt this roster as well as any GM could have done. No defensive players? I thought that was why Anthony Parker, Leon Powe and Jamario Moon were added to the roster? It’s not Danny Ferry, sportsfans, it’s the lack of a legitimate No.2 stud on the floor — and maybe that stud if Hickson, maybe not, but it sure isn’t Mo, Shaq or Antawn.

  4. Fire him - May 15, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    Mike brown should be fired, he failed miserably vs the celts. His coaching is not the reason they won so many games during the season, the reason behind their success is LeBron. A real coach? Try someone like Jerry Sloan, does very well for what he’s got to work with. Sure, Deron Williams is good and Boozer is a great addon, but they are no where near Kobe-Pau,LeBron-shaq-Jamison. The reason behind the Cav’s demise? They were out-coached out played, not to mention that the Celtics are just better in general. By the way, I am not a celtics fan. I am a laker fan always have been and always will be. Phil Jackson? He’s always had great players to coach, other than that? He’s got ALOT to learn from coaches like Jerry Sloan, Pat Riley, Greg Popovich etc….

  5. BW - May 15, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    Your comment makes no sense when it comes to firing Brown.
    Yes, all of those coaches you mentioned are better than Brown. BUT are ANY of those coaches coming to Cleveland???
    I’m not a Mike Brown (or Cavs) fan. Hey, if they can find a better coach who is available, then they certainly SHOULD go get him.
    But unfortunately there’s not much hope. Their only candidate might be one of the current assistant coaches — IF Lebron trusts that person. And that would still be a gamble.

  6. Fire him - May 15, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    Well I do believe my comment does make sence but I also see your point. He is a mediocre coach but there is not much for choices out there, so you’re point is to hold on to him for that reason. But I stick to my guns when I say that just about any coach could do well and be successful with the Cavs, they’ve got the best player in the league!! It’s time for cleveland to make a change though, they’re not going to get any better with the team that they have. So they have some choices to make, fire Brown for a coach with a different coaching style? Replace half of their starting lineup?(Provided Lebron don’t leave0 Best choice in my OPINION is to fire brown and take the gamble on getting someone that is gonna shake things up a bit.

  7. bernie ball - May 20, 2010 at 10:51 PM

    mississippi state vanardo is projected 50 -57.if he’s available & you have a pick, draft him & have shaq teach him some skills ,come on this is just common sense

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