One theory of management is “the level of competence.” That theory says that an organization will promote people based on their ability to do their current job. But at some point they become no longer “promotable” because they are no longer doing an outstanding job. They are in a job one level above their level of competence. Those people should be demoted back to a job that they do well but they almost never are.
I see the Cav’s coach Brown as just such a case. From all reports Brown was a more than competent as associate head coach of the Indiana Pacers and as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. But he is in my opinion not even close to being competent as head coach.
Science tells us that nature abhors a vacuum. Because Brown is incompetent as head coach there is a power vacuum that out of necessity LeBron James has been forced to fill. As good as James is, it is very difficult to get an overview of the game from the court. He is so focused on doing his job that he is not able to see that the offensive flow of the team is sporadic at best and nonexistent at times.
The lack of competence of Brown has been highlighted by his inability to deal with the changes in the roster from the trades and returning players from injury. In a recent interview he admitted he was struggling to re-integrate Williams into the offense. He seems to have no clue how to integrate Jamison into the offense and what is worse, has not even tried to do it. Brown puts guys on the floor and lets James figure out how to use them.
Mike, here are a few things you might try to see in the tapes of recent games.
- The offense runs very smoothly when it goes through LeBron and a big man. It doesn’t seem to matter if that is Shaq or Jamison because both are more than capable of scoring or dishing the ball to an open player. That will also save James’ energy and make him more effective later in the game.
- The Brown O seems to be 4 guys watching LeBron take on the 5 opponents. Both he and Brown need to trust the other guys on the team. This is not the 04-05 team with guys like Drew Gooden, Jeff McInnis, Ira Newble and Robert Traylor around James. We have a team that has veteran starting quality scorers. Both James and Brown need to trust them particularly in the last few minutes of a game. In the 3 game losing streak the Cavs O in the last few minutes was 1 on 5 LeBron against the world.
- It was nice to see Jamison starting. He has to start with Varejao being the 1st off the bench at PF. Hickson is a great kid but he has to be the 3rd option at that position. It will reduce his minutes but that is the way it needs to be to have this team be competitive against the top teams in the league.
There should be no doubt that this team is the most prepared to compete for a championship that the Cavs have ever had. Mike, get your head out of your hind quarters and start coaching. If you can’t figure out how to get all these stars into the O, find someone that can and let them do it. LeBron has enough on his plate.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
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Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday morningS at 11 EST. He has also published several novels on
and edits .