Cleveland Cavaliers fans mostly know what they’re getting from Mike Brown, for obvious reasons. The defensive intensity will almost certainly be ratcheted up from previous years abysmal marks.
One could point to LeBron James departing the Cavs organization at the same time as Brown for their defensive woes, but there are plenty of reasons for optimism over Cleveland’s ability to climb out of the league’s basement in most defensive metrics.
This past season, the Cavs ranked 26th in defensive efficiency rating and 25th in defensive rebound rate. It’s been a sharp decline since Brown last coached the team in 2009-10, when the team ranked second in defensive rebound rate and seventh in defensive efficiency rating. The following season saw them drop immediately to 29th in the latter category.
“I’m happy for him, very happy for him,” James said during the Miami Heat’s first-round series against Milwaukee, via ESPN. “I think he’s a really good coach, very defensive-minded coach. It’ll be good for the young guys that they have.”
The Onion had a funnier take on Cavs general manager Chris Grant finding his guy.
“After finishing with the league’s third-worst record, Grant said the Cavaliers will next turn their attention to the draft, where they hope to add yet another talented young player who doesn’t want to be in Cleveland.”
While Byron Scott guided the Cavs through these recent limbo years to a 64-166 mark, Brown went 42-29 as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.