We always joke about Mike Brown's abilities as a coach and whether he actually has any real control over the Cavaliers. Not because he's a bad coach or hasn't improved the team; to the contrary, the Cavs are one of the best defensive teams in the league thanks to Brown, and players like Anderson Varejao have improved drastically under his watch. But at the end of the day... Who are we kidding? Mike Brown's a puppet, and Lebron's pulling the strings in Cleveland.
Then last night, the Cavs won thanks to an expertly desgined play that gave them a last-minute lead they'd never relinquish. It was perfect; for all the jokes about Mike Brown and his coaching acumen, even the cynics among us had to admit: "Mike Brown actually ran a good offensive play." Except...
You guessed it! Mike Brown didn't call the play, design it in the huddle, or... do anything, really. Conforming to all the stereotypes and Cavs-related satire, Brown deferred to LeBron James, who called the play in crunch time. From the Akron Beacon Journal:
Coach Mike Brown said the play came from James (23 points, nine rebounds, seven assists).
''When he brought it up, I kind of chuckled because I was like: 'Really? Are you kidding me?' And lo and behold, they went out there and executed the play to a T,'' the coach said. ''I don't know if we've ever run the play before in that situation.''
And hey: It worked, didn't it? We can make fun of Mike Brown all year long, but as the regular season comes to a close, he and the Cavaliers are in first place, regardless of who's calling the plays. Laugh all you want, guys. The Cavs are sitting pretty right now.**
Video of the play is below, at 1:21:
**(First place and home court all the way through the playoffs! Or, exactly what they had last year, before they self-destructed against Orlando while Coach Brown completely froze, failed to adjust, and lost to a massive underdog. Mike Brown, everyone!)