The NBA season is a week old and after the Cleveland Cavaliers won their opener, apparently there were a few fans that felt the days of 60 win seasons returned with Mike Brown.
That is based on the reaction of some people after the wine and gold lost consecutive road games to Charlotte and Indiana.
The truth is this team has to get used to playing together. There are several new, key pieces getting a lot of playing time.
Think about it. In Brown’s top nine players are only five players (Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Alonzo Gee, C. J. Miles, and Dion Waiters), who were with the Cavs last season.
And since those five aren’t usually on the court at the same time, there is an adjustment period needed.
The holdovers have to get used to playing with Earl Clark, Andrew Bynum, and Jarret Jack and have to be re-acquainted with Anderson Varejao.
They have to learn where these players want the ball to be effective, and in Bynum’s case working off a legitimate low post threat.
That could explain the offensive struggles that hurt the Cavs during the two road losses. Of course, it also could be the schemes that Brown has put together which at times seems like an early pick and roll, and if that doesn’t work, it’s up to Irving to come up with something.
That’s how Brown’s offense worked when LeBron James was here. Last night, Austin Carr mentioned the Cavaliers struggled late in the game because there were too many 1-4 sets with Irving trying to break down the defense.
Brown has stated he has stressed defense in training camp and has done very little with the offense, and we will give him the benefit of the doubt on this right now. Still, his history has shown his offense has struggled especially against good defenses and in crunch time.
The other problem for the Cavaliers right now is they aren’t shooting the basketball very well. Whether that is part of the offensive design or not remains to be seen, but several Cleveland players are having problems in this area.
Both starting guards are really having problems.
Irving is the league’s defending three point shooting champion and right now, he is shooting just 37% from the floor, compared to 46% in his first two years in the league. He has also hit just 2 or 11 attempts from behind the arc.
You have to expect that this is just temporary based on his track record.
His backcourt mate, Dion Waiters had some issues with shot selection as a rookie, but he still made 41% of his shots. Through four games this season, he is making just one out of every three shots.
Newcomer Earl Clark is another player way off his career norm. Clark hit 44% of his field goal attempts a year ago, and is making only 32% from the floor after four games.
Thank goodness for C. J. Miles, who is off to a sizzling start, hitting 52% of his shots and making 8 of 21 from three-point range.
Irving, Waiters, and Clark will start to make more shots, but Brown’s history shows people have reason for concern about the ability to score points late in games.
There has to be a better plan than get the ball to Kyrie and hope for the best.