By Jason Wojciechowski on June 11, 2009 at 4:07 PM
Mike Brown is apparently on the verge of being out of a job. While it might be fair to excoriate him for apparently not having much of an offensive game-plan in the playoffs, the things he did right should be noted as well. First, he's apparently an excellent defensive coach -- I don't think just anyone could turn Ilgauskas, Varejao, Mo Williams (!), Delonte West, Wally, et al. into the third-best defensive team (on a points-per-possession basis) in the league. Even if LeBron is a fantastic defensive player, one great wing defender doesn't make a great defense.
Second even with all the high-profile offensive struggles at key spots in the playoffs, this was the fourth-best offensive team in the league, too. Let's be serious about his roster: Danny Ferry didn't give him much to work with. Ben Wallace? Joe Smith? Boobie Gibson? There were crunch-time players on this team that on most deep playoff teams would be 8th and 9th guys, solid role players to play 12 minutes a game bridging the first-second and third-fourth quarters. Can you really blame Brown for just giving LeBron the ball on an isolation? You'd prefer a Mo Williams - Anderson Varejao pick-and-roll perhaps?
I think there's a good chance Brown is not a great coach, but I also wonder if the available options are really going to be any better. Cleveland also has to think about LeBron in all this. Does he like Brown? Does he want Brown out? Honestly, the most important consideration is what LeBron thinks the team should do, because if they do something he disagrees with, they've all but guaranteed that he won't resign with them in 2010.