Brown to start Jamison vs. Hornets
It seems Cleveland has hit a stitch.
The Cavaliers have lost all three games they've played since trading center Zydrunas Ilgauskas to Washington for Jamison as part of a three-team deal. It's the first time Cleveland has lost three straight since 2008 and it follows a 13-game winning streak, which was tops in the league this season and tied the franchise record.
"Anytime you make a trade, it's going to take you a little bit to get used to it and get a rhythm," Brown said on Monday. "Particularly if the head coach is searching, the players are going to feed off that. I'm in search mode a little bit."
Brown eased Jamison into the rotation by bringing him off the bench the first two games. Now he is leaning toward starting the two-time All-Star Tuesday against New Orleans.
Jamison started the second half of Cleveland's 101-95 loss to Orlando on Sunday, finishing with 19 points and eight rebounds. He is still adjusting to the Cavaliers after a dreary stay in Washington, where Gilbert Arenas' suspension and the constant losing wore down the spirit of the team.
"When you come from a losing team, something wasn't right," he said. "You have to erase all of that and start over from scratch. There are some bad habits I incorporated. What I've known for the last 50-some games, you have to throw it out the window and get accustomed to what we do here."
"If I can play the bulk of those guys together at the start and end of games," Brown said, "then it makes sense to make the change."
Cleveland's struggles are similar to the start of this season, when the Cavs started 3-3 while new additions like O'Neal, Parker and Jamario Moon were finding their way. The Cavaliers eventually got it right, racing out to the league's best record at the All-Star break. Brown believes the Cavaliers are close to breaking out again.
"Every game, I've felt more comfortable," he said. "The bright spot is I can walk away from that game saying, 'OK, I like the way we're heading, we're going to get this thing going so we have a nice chance at the end [of the season]."
Brown has been most irritated with Cleveland's defensive play, or lack of it, over the past few weeks. The Cavs have allowed an opponent to score at least 100 points in 17 games this year. Five of those have come in the last six games.
"The physicalness is not quite there. We haven't made our opponents feel us like we were doing early in the season," Brown said. "We can't have the mindset that we're going to outscore our opponents. If we do, then it could be a short season. For anybody, it would be a short season. Teams that do that don't win."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press