Mike Brown on the hot seat

After successful two seasons with 50 wins each and leading the Cavaliers to their first playoffs in 2006 and to the NBA Finals last season, Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com thinks Mike Brown is on the verge of loosing his coaching job.

“When you put a few factors together — he did not receive a contract extension after leading the team to the NBA Finals last season; he is one of the league’s five lowest-paid coaches; his authority was publicly challenged by Damon Jones and Ira Newble ”

Tell us what you think? Do you agree with Chris Sheridan assessment?

Lebron James Misses Practice

Lebron James missed practice today because of a sore right big toe and was listed as probable for Friday’s game against Sacramento.

Coach Mike Brown said after practice that James was fine and likely would play Friday.

Lebron’s Dominant Second Half Carries Cavs Past Hawks

LeBron James scored 32 of his 36 points in the second half as the Cavaliers beat the Hawks 98-94.

Lebron started the game quietly scoring only four points in the first half.
Then he came out in the second half and dropped 13 points in the third, and 19 in the fourth, including 19 of Cleveland’s 22 over the last 6:51.

Hughes 17-foot jumper with 2:33 put the Cavs up 85-82. He finished the night with 14 points and Drew Gooden 13 for Cleveland.

NBA Recap | Box Score

News from local media:

LeBron’s late rally leads Cavs to win  (Akron Beacon Journal)
James explodes after sluggish start (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

News from national media:

James quiet for half, but then unstoppable (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Cavaliers fall to New Orleans

The Hornets have been struggling to draw big crowds since returning this season from a two-year stint in Oklahoma City, a displacement forced by Hurricane Katrina. The Hornets were last in the NBA in attendance, averaging 11,462 fans, coming into their home date against Cleveland.

But Lebron James was able to attract 17,623 to watch him and the Cleveland Cavaliers as he does everywhere he goes.

But the energy from the sellout crowed was against him and it showed as the Cavaliers played slow and sloppy.

“We really fed off their energy,” Paul said. “When the crowd gets on their feet, it really gets us going.”
Lebron James played more passively than usual with only 21 points. The Hornets thrived off the Cavs’ mistakes, scoring 19 points off 14 turnovers, and in transition, scoring 15 fastbreak points.

“The bottom line was the turnovers and we came out flat in the third quarter,” Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. “They had something to do with that but we came out flat and it was hard to dig us out of a hole that big.”

Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Cleveland, but scored only two points in the second half. Daniel Gibson scored 14 and Drew Gooden had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Hughes continued with his poor play with only 2 points (1-11), and 2 assists.

NBA Recap | Box Score

News from local media: 

Cavs offed by offense
Turnovers, poor shooting result in loss to Hornets

Cavaliers’ defense takes the night off in loss to Hornets

News from national media:

Hornets knock off Cavs and James
LeBron James discovered Saturday night that the Hornets’ defensive play has vastly improved since last season.

Jones, Newble refuse to play

Branson Wright  of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes “Coach Mike Brown asked Damon Jones and Ira Newble to go into the game with less than a minute left and with the Cavs holding a commanding lead against the Miami Heat.  It was mop-up time.  Veteran Eric Snow went in instead.  Newble told Brown he was not ready to go in because he was not loose.  “Regardless on how much time is on the clock, I’m going 100 percent on every time I step on the court,” Newble said.  “Not being loose enough, you could possible pull something.”

It is not clear why Jones refused, but maybe because his overall playing time has been reduced for the past two seasons and probably because he asked the Cavs for a trade in the off-season and they have not accommodated his request.  The Cavs fined Jones an undisclosed amount.  It is not known in Newble was fined.

Source:  Plain Dealer

Cavs Top Mavs

The Cavaliers beat the Dallas Mavericks for the first time in Dallas since March 2000 88-81.  James finished the game with 24 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.  For local and national recaps please see below.

NBA Box Score

Local Media

Cavs outmuscle Mavericks

Cavs win with big D

National Media

Dallas Mavericks infatuated with 3-point shot

Cavs top Heat

Another lineup change, Hughes starting for Gibson, resulted in a win for the Cavaliers, 96-82 in front of a sell out crowd a Quickens Loan Arena.  After Monday’s practice, Cavs GM Danny Ferry and Mike Brown had a long meeting with Hughes.  Defense was one of the reasons after all why Hughes was signed as a free agent.  “It was coach’s decision,” Hughes said of his start.  “It’s time to make a push is what I got from it.  It’s time to get some W’s on the board, and the starting lineup we put out there, he feels it’s our best opportunity in doing that.”  Well I am not convinced of that after only one game.  Larry was 2 of 7 for four points but did help with four steals and six assists. 

NBA Recap  NBA Box Score

Local Media

Cavs need Gibson to start says Tery Pluto

Larry Hughes defense leads Cavs to victory over Heat

National Media

LeBron, Cavs beat Heat thanks to big second half

Miami Heat wrap up report

Christmas Day Showdown: Heat and Cavaliers Search for Answers

Two struggling teams will meet today at the Quicken Loans Arena for the national television holiday matinee. The Cavaliers (12-16) are looking for a spark and consistency after loosing 10 games in 13 games.

The Cavaliers were booed at The Q last game against the Warriors and Lebron didn’t speak to the media. Wade did not speak to the media after an overtime loss to the Nets on Thursday and did not speak after Monday’s practice.

The Heat would like to think it got a jump start Saturday in a victory over Utah.”It could be,” said coach Pat Riley, when asked if Wade’s shot could trigger a winning streak.

“You just never know. We’ve had three very strong games in a row. Two overtime games we lost and this one Dwyane got the bounce for us. You can only look down the road two or three weeks and then if things are going well you can look back at this and say, maybe this was it.”

“I know what we’re going through. It’s something that I think we can turn around, because we’re right there. In a couple of those games, we just made some crucial mistakes right there at the end.” Said Shaquille O’Neal after Monday’s practice

The Cavaliers after embarrassing blowouts at home and on the roads against sub-par teams hope to get it together soon.

Drew Gooden told reporters after Sunday’s loss: “We’ve got to get this together. This is not us. We’re a much better team than we’ve been showing. It’s not too late to turn it around.”

“You can tell by our body language, teams get up on us, our heads go down and frustration starts in,” Ilgauskas said. ”We try to go one-on-one to save the team and that backfires.”

Mike Brown hinted he was considering lineup changes, perhaps as soon as today. He declined to go into specifics.Brown and General Manager Danny Ferry also held a lengthy post practice meeting with Larry Hughes. Hughes has been playing poorly for much of the season and has recently been complaining to the media about his role.  Click below for all the details on the Miame Heat.

Miami Heat