It hasn't exactly been a smooth transition from the offensive-minded days of Byron Scott to the defensive-minded approach of Mike Brown. The Cavaliers are up...and down. Unbeaten at home, winless on the road. And eight games in, getting very inconsistent play from their leader, Kyrie Irving.
Some speculate this is because Irving is working so hard at the defensive end of the court, it's taking away from his offensive skills. Some wonder if he's frustrated playing for a head coach who, admittedly, barely even addressed offense during the preseason. And many noticed when Brown had a heated talk with his point guard early in the loss to the Bulls on Monday. Both men downplayed the exchange, but clearly, there are growing pains, and frustrations, on both ends, as the Cavs work towards becoming the team Brown demands them to be.
Under Scott, the Cavs won 19 games, then 21, and then 24. In 2012-2013, they were one of the worst defensive teams in basketball. You can't blame the powers-that-be for wanting a new approach, even if it is under a familiar face, and even if, for now, offense takes a backseat.
The question is, how long before the offense catches up? Can Brown, in his second go 'round, strike a better balance than he did during his first run with the Cavs? And will Kyrie be happy in this new system?
The answer to that final question is the one that concerns most Cavs fans, because, while it's early, it's also more of a stumbling start than anybody expected. And everyone had much higher hopes than what we're seeing.