Around the NBA: Cavs' coach earns trust
It doesn’t take long for Danny Ferry to recognize if someone can coach basketball at a high level.
“You can just look at their presence on the sidelines and how they carry themselves,” the Cavaliers general manager said.
Ferry saw that presence instantly from Cavs Head Coach Mike Brown. After two-plus seasons of working together, Ferry saw plenty more to convince him Brown is his coach “for the long haul,” and last week extended Browns’ contract two years to 2010-11.
“He has a presence, and then you add to that his ability to communicate, his passion for defense and having a system, which he has,” Ferry said. “It’s something we can continue to build with as we continue grow as an organization and as a team.”
Under Brown, the Cavs reached the finals last year. They have become one of the league’s top defensive teams and better rebounding teams.
Of course, having LeBron James around helps make all of this possible.
Brown has not escaped criticism — notably the team’s continued halfcourt offensive struggles. Ferry, though, believes in Brown’s work ethic. The GM trusts in his coach, and they have a good working relationship.
“The integrity, the hard work that he brings day in and day out are things we want our organization to be about,” Ferry said. “He always wants to get better. He’s always trying to find a way for himself to be a better coach and for us to be a better team.”
Brown’s extension also gives the team stability, something Ferry admires in teams such as San Antonio and Utah.
“Stability is very important,” Ferry said. “Really, the only team that has had a lot changes and been successful is Detroit. Look at the other (successful) teams. They’ve had a stability.”
The King’s take
James spoke highly of the way Brown has taught the All-Star to play defense.
“He made me a better player on the defensive end,” said James, who appreciates Brown’s “defensive intensity, because I love to play defense, and I love to get stops and then get out and run.”
With a star-studded cast of guards out West, the Blazers’ Brandon Roy faces an uphill battle to make the All-Star Game.
Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers, though, said Roy’s name should come up for a bigger honor. Rivers said Roy is no longer just a second-year guard having a good season after being Rookie of the Year.
“He’s turning into an MVP candidate, which makes them so good,” Rivers said. “He’s obviously their best scorer, but he’s also their best facilitator.”
Roy averages 19.1 points, 5.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds but is not among the top 10 vote-getters. Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady lead the way. Allen Iverson, Steve Nash and Chris Paul also are in the mix.
Andrew Bynum’s dislocation of his left knee could turn out to be the most significant injury of the season. The 20-year-old 7-footer was blossoming into a dominant force in helping the Lakers ascend to the top of the West.
The Lakers had won eight of nine, averaging 112 points per game when Bynum went down. In five games prior to the injury, suffered last Sunday, Bynum averaged 18.8 points, 12.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks, shooting 69.8-percent from the floor.
Bynum, who averages 13.1 points and 10.2 rebounds, will miss at least eight weeks.
“We’re trying to focus on what we can do with the opportunities,” Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson told the L.A. Daily News. “That’s why we have a bench, and that’s why we have a roster as deep as it is. Guys can step up and play.”
The 6-11 Kwame Brown gives the Lakers similar size but not the presence of the long and athletic Bynum. Brown nearly had as many turnovers (7) as points (8) in Thursday’s loss to the Suns.
- Expect free-agent Chris Webber, 34, to be mentioned in connection with several teams looking for a big man. He told a Sacramento TV station Monday that he’s heard from several teams but has three teams in mind and looks to land somewhere within two weeks.
- Many view Spurs guard Tony Parker as the league’s fastest player. Warriors guard Monta Ellis might have something to say about that. “He’s our fastbreak,” teammate Baron Davis said. The 6-3 Elllis shoots 50.4 percent from the floor because his quickness enables him to get to the rim.
- The Spurs came into the weekend 6-5 in their last 11 games, and Head Coach Gregg Popovich is not happy. “We really haven’t played a 48-minute game very often this season, and that’s been our negative for the last month. ... People will have to do it better, because right now we don’t have too many people doing what we want them to do very consistently.”
Reach Repository sports writer Chris Beaven at (330) 580-8345 or e-mail: email@example.com