Welcome to the thirty-ninth installment of Right Down Euclid’s “Weekly Roundtable.” This Friday Jerry Bulone and Dan Pilar sit down and discuss the latest trending topics concerning your Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA. The combination of rotating RDE duos answer three questions regarding the hometown Wine and Gold and two questions surrounding the league.
Today the discussion revolves around the team’s decision to bring back Mike Brown, trading for LaMarcus Aldridge, Tristan Thompson’s two third-place votes for the Most Improved Player Award, surprising playoff performances and a look at a possible upset.
First Question: Are you siding with the Cavaliers front office on bringing back Mike Brown?
Jerry Bulone: I have to admit that at first I was thoroughly upset. I was at a loss for words. However, I have had some time after the initial horror, and now I am actually OK with it. The main reason is because who else was there really to get? It was reported that Stan Van Gundy said no, Phillip said no, so who else? Do you really want to go the college ranks or unknown assistant route? I thought so at first, but now — no way. Now, let’s get Brown a really good young offensive mind to be an “offensive coordinator,” and lets go Cavs!
Dan Pilar: I didn’t like it when I initially heard it, and I still don’t like it. Mike Brown is just not a head coach. He’s a great defensive mind, no doubting that, but he has no clue how to run an offense and never draws up his owns plays. This hiring demolishes any chance of getting No. 23 back in 2014 because their problems were well documented in 2010. And if you think the Mike Brown coaching hire will help the Cavs, you have another thing coming. If LeBron liked Mike Brown so much, why did they fire him in a last-ditch effort to get LeBron to stay? The only thing I like about the hire is that when Brown was with the Cavs in his first stint, his teams always had a good chemistry: the dancing, fake-picture taking, etc.
Second Question: What is your opinion on the rumors surrounding trading for LaMarcus Aldridge?
JB: I am not a fan of this rumor. First, because it has ZERO chance of happening, and second, I am not ready to give up on Tristan and Dion Waiters (the two rumored in the deal). Plus, they would have to pay Aldridge $40 million over the next three years. He will be 28 in July, while Waiters and Thompson are in their low 20s. I will take my chances with Varejao, Speights, Zeller and Tristan.
DP: I like the idea of the trade, I just don’t know if it would actually happen. The price tag seems kind of steep, as we would be giving up two of our young core players and committing all that money to him. But I can imagine a big trade like this happening. The front office is going to do all that they can to get another big name player in Cleveland, because let’s face it, no free agents want to sign here. So I can imagine them going after a proven player to make this place more attractive for a free agent in 2014.
Third Question: How do you feel about Tristan Thompson receiving votes for most improved player?
JB: I think he deserved some recognition for the improvements that he made. However, I would not think it was dramatic enough to give him serious consideration for the award. That being said, I think he deserved more than a measly two points out of 1,080, good for 25th place. To me, that’s more of a slap in the face than anything else. There were people in front of him like Greg Monroe (who actually saw a decrease in a lot of his statistics) that should not have been there.
DP: He is more than deserving of the votes. I tend to disagree with Jerry when he said it was a slap in the face to only get two. He played on a team that got no national exposure, so no one actually was able to see his improved skills. He was definitely the most improved on the team, and he is only working to improve even more this offseason. Those votes are a tribute to how hard he has worked from last season to this season.
Fourth Question: Which playoff series are you most surprised with thus far?
JB: I would have to go with the Chicago series. I always saw them as lame ducks, with that whole “Derrick Rose, who is 100% healthy, but not playing” thing going on. It is good to see them still put up a good fight. I would love to see them advance in spite of Rose.
DP: I don’t know if any of the series have “surprised” me, but if I have to choose one, I’ll go with the Warriors-Nuggets. The Nuggets lost their leading scorer Danilo Gallinari late in the regular season, so that hurts. But the Warriors lost their big man David Lee and are a young, more inexperienced team than the Nuggets. They stole a game on the road when Denver had a 38-3 record at home this season, including winning their last 24. The Warriors can’t keep shooting like they have been, but now they’re going home to play in front of one of the best crowds in the league. Last time this city saw a first-round playoff series, the Warriors were an eight seed and they defeated the No. 1 seed Dallas Mavericks.
Fifth Question: Which team do you expect to possibly pull an upset?
JB: Despite my answer to the previous question, my money is on Memphis. I just am not buying what the Clippers are selling. Despite the fact that Memphis traded one of their best players, and some key bench players, I still think they can compete right up there with the Clippers, who, for the most part, are just a team of big names put together (much like that other team in LA).
DP: I just mentioned Golden State. I believe they can pull an upset. I’m excited to see how loud their crowd will get and see how Denver responds to that. I like Jerry’s Grizzlies upset pick, but I just can’t go against Chris Paul. He had a bad game Thursday night, but he’s the best point guard in the league. You know he’s going to come back strong.
Make sure to check back next week to see what Jerry Bulone and Zak Kolesar have to debate at the “Weekly Roundtable.”