Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  78 responses

Mike Brown Wants Mo Williams to Step Up

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Mo Williams’ dunk over Paul Pierce in the latter stages of Game 1 was credited with being the key play in the Cavs/Celtics series opener. Last night, Williams resumed his all-too-familiar role as Playoff goat, as Boston convincingly tied the series, with Mo and his teammates barely putting up a fight.

Following the 19-point crushing on their own home floor, a fuming Mike Brown tried his best to light a fire under his guys by taking them to task through the media. Taking a page out of Doc Rivers’ book — who strategy with Rasheed Wallace worked wonderfully, by the way — Brown put Mo Williams’ performance on blast.

FanHouse and the Akron Beacon Journal collected the quotes:

This was greatly out of character for Brown, who rarely criticizes players and rarely calls out his team. This night he swore — and challenged Mo Williams, who was a woeful 1 for 9 and was more woeful on defense trying to keep up with Rajon Rondo (19 assists) and Ray Allen (22 points, 8 of 15).

“He’s got to step up,” Brown said. “It’s as simple as that. It’s playoff time. He’s got to step up and make the right plays for us and he’s got to knock down shots. It’s going to be tough for us to win a series if Mo plays the way he did tonight. Whether it’s defensively or offensively, he’s got to bring it … just like the rest of us.”

”It’s going to be tough for us to win a series the way Mo played tonight,” Brown said.

Through the first two games of the series, Rajon Rondo has been the best player on the floor, further putting the pressure on his counter part to perform at a higher level.

Game 3 takes place in Boston on Friday night, and though most eyes will continue to train on LeBron James, Mo Williams will need to answer his coach’s call if the Cavs hope to regain the momentum.

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  • http://www.nba.com/bobcats Anton

    lol are we going to get this same article for every losing team?

  • http://www.nba.com/bobcats Anton

    I think I seen Bron do one of the weirdest, highest jumping travels of all time.

  • Nate

    Wouldn’t hurt if shaq lifted his game a little bit too

  • T-Money

    About time! I think Mike Brown just realized that he won’t have a job in 2 weeks if they lose to the Celts. Seriously, if Mo can not defend Ray Allen OR Rajon Rondo then he can’t play in the 4th. Same thing with Shaq, if he’s not bringing it, give his crunch time minutes to JJ.

  • STR8FiYA18

    He’s Right, ROndo has been tearing up the Cavs’ Gaurds and williams checks him the majority of the game, The only way the Cavs will win this Series is if they can stop Rondo.

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    Dude, Mo always disappears in the playoffs…what else is new?

  • http://springbored.net letsmotor

    @T-money: you just hit the nail on the head as far as one of the big problems for the cavs. mo williams will at some point have to defend either rondo or ray allen. I wouldn’t call mo a bad or below average defender, but i really don’t think he can do a good job on either of those nightmare defensive assignments.

  • Yesse

    I havent liked Celtics in a while, but they stepped up. Big thumbs up for them.

  • kobesbestfriend

    maybe if Brown had some form of an offensive scheme instead of just giving the ball to that imposter of an mvp queen james and relying on him 2 travel to the basket every play 2 get a score mo and every1 else would know their role.this is poor coaching plain and simple!celtics in 6 guaranteed!!!

  • Macgyver

    cavs have no change against magic if lebron doesn’t heal before that series..his been 1/3 of his normal playoff self and the one thing that pisses me off most is,that they don’t go to see those specialists..

  • jumpman3224

    Things look good for the Celtics. I think extra days off in the playoffs always favor the older team and with 2 extra days until game three in Boston, they are in good position to take a 2-1 lead.

  • Macgyver

    no rondo is not the problem he can score as much as he wants but lebron needs to heal and quick if they are even dreaming about beating orlando..lebron has been like 1/3 of his normal playoff self..lebron needs to be lebron or otherwise they are out..

  • Macgyver

    of course they have to contain rondo a bit but if lebron is healthy he can beat teams by himself..

  • underdog

    Man, I hope Sheed can maintain these numbers in this series. Beat the Cavs.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Michael Scorn

    He just wants Mo to hit the easy wide open shots that The King so elegantly creates by drawing the triple team. Seriously, if The King didn’t have such crappy teammates, he would average 20 assists with his 40 poins and 11 rebounds.

  • Elias

    ste-ste-ste-ste-ste-stepping up.

  • http://www.nba.com/bobcats Anton

    Scorn is The Seed to Lebron James …

  • vtrobot

    Shaq is too fat to try to lift anything. He’ll hurt himself. Cavs should give every one of Shaq’s minutes to JJ if they’d like to improve their chances of winning.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    co-sign wayno… was going to say the same thing.

  • ENDS

    Wonder why he didnt call out LBJ for a wierd MVP game where he bobbled the ball and made some insane decissions with the rock.

    Co Sign Anton that was a funky lookin travel by the Crab Prince

  • bill breedley

    The refs give all the bullcrap free throws, allow the 2 step hop gay move and the usual bron gets called for nothing treatment… And still they lose to the celtics!!! If Dwight and the magic were treated this good they would be halfway to a threepeat. Daddy David stern can only do so much. Bron should stop the Paul pierce impression and mo Williams should find his guts instead of always being a clown for queen James.

  • bill breedley

    Before this series began everyone was saying the cavs were the deepest team. Shaquille and Jamison were the missing pieces. If lebron fails to deliver again … They go back to the same excuse. Dwight lost jameer last year and still managed to make the finals. Enough with the gay excuses. Tired of bron jockers making every excuse for the boys short comings.

  • Swizzle

    I write it here first. Lebron will be in CHICAGO. Theyre waiting on a coach LBJ Likes. A phill Jax/Chitown reunion in the works. Think about it…

  • Swizzle

    Cavs always get an obligatory LBJ 3-point play and still find a way to blow sterns gifts. there only so much medeling David can do clevland he cant put the ball in the hoop for y’all

  • riggs

    lol glad im not the only one who saw the blatant helping from the refs, and also reggie miller should be taken out back and shot “lebron avoiding the contact from pierce and not getting called” pierce hit lebron all over his back you moron.

  • bill breedley

    Exactly. This chump gets away with charges, fouls when he steals and goal tending on those “hilight blocks”‘! Thanks to David and his stooges they managed to manufacture an MVP. The queen is indeed david’s ” the chosen one”. Find another horse David, this one is not going to get it done for you

  • Th3_R3al_Chris

    Last time I saw the Celtics play like this was the ’08 Finals. KG looks amazing right now and Ray Allen has been more than consistent this playoffs. Rondo’s been phenomenal and I’m usually very hesitant to offer praise to Rajon. Paul Pierce has been nonexistent in Cleveland and the Celtics should by all means be up 2-0 right now. If they win both in Boston, which will be pretty hard to do, in my opinion, then they have a chance to win in 5 or 6. I really don’t want to see this go to 7 so I’m hoping they protect the home court.

  • Chuckolution

    I know another guy from denver who disappears in the post season. JR Smith

  • http://alan.george@gmail.com Breeze

    I mean i dont know if ya seen what i seen , maybe its a bad game or maybe i seen that this almighty cav team are not that unbeatable if your man lebron doesnt score 40 and jamison score at leat 20 and mo at least 20 it equals an L!

  • max

    lebron and dirk should team up, both are monsters in the playoffs, but their supporting casts choke everytime. Or we could just call lebron soft…

  • JoeMaMa

    No one on Cleveland can stop Rondo. He’ll get his. I can’t believe I (and everyone else here) forgot that when the playoffs come, Rondo brings his game to another level. Seriously, the guy is a true gamer. I’d also like to take the time to note that Michael Scorn is actually Savannah Brinson.

  • MrHoop01

    @Macgyver… Now y´all gonna start saying Lebron is hurt and thats why they can´t win! LMFAO!! Dude gets away with so much it´s not even funny. Like game 2 travel? Wow!! Too bad the Celtics are gonna wax them… what excuse are yall going to come up with then? Lebron is no MVP. I have more respect for Kevin Durant than this chump.

  • Exile

    Mike Brown is a nutbar. They have SHAQ, Twan, LBJ, Big Z, AP, Moon etc… Mo can have an off night and be a replaceable cog. If he is stinking it up, be a coach and sit him down and compensate. So if Mo gets injured, the Cavs lose?

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers


  • KulchaKris

    @Sporting-Lisbon: I am pretty certain LeBaby took two steps, and then performed the jump stop, which is why it’s a travel.

  • The D Train

    The whole “Cleveland has a deep team” thing is pretty far off-base for this time of the year. What has any of the Cavs ever done in the playoffs, other than Lebron and Shaq? And obviously Shaq is a shell of his former self, albeit a 400 lb. shell, but a shell nevertheless. Mo shoots 45% FG, 40% 3′s and puts in 14 a game for his career regular season. With the bright lights a’glarin’, he’s at 42% FG, 36% 3′s and puts in 14 a game. So he shoots a little bit worse, but the bottom line is that if you are pinning your title hopes on Mo Williams you are asking for trouble.

  • JesusShuttlesworth

    MO IS A BUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM… simple as that.

  • http://dsfjklf.com Jukai

    Mike Brown wants Mo Williams to Step Up. I just want Mike Scorn to be funny.

  • http://dsfjklf.com Jukai

    Also, I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t think that move Lebron pulled was a travel, so maybe I’m missing the part where Lebron lifted up his dribble before the hop step.

  • Shelton

    On Mike & Mike this morning, both Mikes & Dick Vitale said Lebron will easily go down as greatest player of all time. The hype is really beginning to get ridiculous.

  • http://dsfjklf.com Jukai

    I mean, Shaq used to do that in the 90s all the time, if you keep your dribble then jump in the air and land, you’ve used your ‘two steps’ with one jump… I’ve rewound it numerous times and I can’t see where Lebron lifts his dribble… I mean there’s an f’in button for it!!!! Ray Allen did it to jump behind the three point line and no one mentioned anything. I’m not sure where this hate is comin’ from.
    That being said, Lebron’s gotta stop being a puss about the whole elbow thing and play or stay on the bench. I gave Kobe the same criticism, them the ropes.

  • mj23

    Mike Brown is the worst coach in the playoffs. Even worse than his evil twin Mike Woodson. Magic will be in the finals because they have the better coach in the east out of the other 3: Woodson, Brown, and Rivers.

  • http://myspace.com/mcnarrative Kieran

    Im not sure Mo Williams is good enough to be the second option on a Championship winning team. Saying that they have plenty other players who should pick up the slack.

  • kudos

    Can Slam please post the freaking vid of lebron doing his crab dribble. Jesus, he took 2steps before his second jump. Too be honest, the fact that lebron does this so much has more to do with his awkward footwork. His court vision is decent, handles are nothing special, and his shot is that of an elementary school player. Although he does have a knack for drawing fouls every time down court. Whether he’s jumping into people Or falling down. It’s hilarious erry time it happens.-

  • LA Huey

    @Jukai, I co-sign all-a-dat

  • Chris

    I feel bad for Mo. He had a bad game, but this is Mike Brown’s fault… When you have an offense that is nothing else than give the ball to Lebron and let him create for anyone else, of course you are going to lose games like last night.

    When Lebron has an off night the rest of the team doesn’t know what to do….. That’s just poor coaching.

  • T-Money

    This is not Mike Brown’s fault. Mo had plenty of open looks, you have to knock them down. Cleveland’s problems weren’t really on the offensive end. They can’t stop Rondo’s penetration, that’s why they lost the game.

  • http://myspace.com/mcnarrative Kieran

    Here is the video slowed down. Not a travel. Not many people here play much ball


  • http://springbored.net letsmotor

    i know the series is 1-1, but in my opinion, cleveland’s the team that has more work to do. when you think about it, boston played poorly in game 1 in the second half of the third q and all of the fourth q. besides those 18 minutes, they’ve dominated. also, cleveland has that i didn’t think of until the series started. as everyone’s pointed out, rondo and ray are both extremely difficult players to guard, and mo’s going to have to guard one of them. also, garnett’s been way more effective than most would’ve expected, and jamison’s not looking like he can do much to stop him (did you see his “defense” on those lead passes to KG?!). Garnett’s even playing well enough to draw double teams, which of course opens things up for everyone else. and i don’t usually criticize coaches, because it’s usually tough for us to understand what the coaches do when some much of it takes place behind the scenes, but i agree with everyone criticizing mike brown. cleveland’s offense needs work. having a dominant player doesn’t eliminate the need for an offensive scheme. michael and kobe both needed/need the triangle.

  • LA Huey

    @Kieran, I’m gonna add some words from the official NBA rulebook. http://www.nba.com/videorulebook/category.html?cid=76 “An offensive player may end his dribble by alighting off of one foot and landing simultaneously on both feet. The offensive player on this play gathers the ball, alights from his right foot, and then lands with both feet simultaneously on the floor. Note that at this point, the player may not pivot; if he lifts either foot, the ball must be released prior to that foot returning to the floor.”

  • Joey E.

    when they were telling lebron about al roker being angry in the presser, i couldnt help but think the whole team was cracking up when they saw it…

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers

    look IM THE FIRST ONE TO SAY BRON IS A FU(KIN TRAVELLING MACHINE BUT THAT WAS NOT A TRAVEL, I GUARENSHEED YOU THAT..also thought it was at first like Chuck The Ididiot Barkley but after carefull review it was not..HARWOOD PAROXYSM.COM check it if you dont bealive me

  • The D Train

    I also find it pretty funny that we’re having our annual “Who is to blame for Lebron not getting his ring this spring, Mike Brown or Mo Williams?” debate. Kind of like Groundhog’s Day…if you see Mike or Mo’s shadow, it’s a ring-less spring for Cleveland.

  • http://myspace.com/mcnarrative Kieran

    @The D Train. Im a Lebron fan, but there are no excuses for him anymore. He has proved himself to be the best in the league and now has a great supporting cast too. If he doesnt get a ring this year or next (presuming he stays with the Cavs) it will raise serious questions about him

  • don

    mo is my man and all but he needs to step up too, he just got a new shoe deal so he has to step up.

  • T-Money

    I know that Bron will take the blame for this if they don’t beat Boston. You get the glory, you take the blame, I get that. BUT as rational human beings, can he be to blame for Shaq missing bunnies and Mo missing wide open 3s? Like, seriously?

  • http://www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com Tarzan Cooper

    Lebron is going to miami. Hannibal retired 23 so bron said ill take 6. He is going to miami, this has been planned for a while. Dwade is bettr than mo. Pat is better than grimace. Lebron is going to miami, 5 peat

  • The D Train

    Jesus H…who the hell would you double if Wade and Lebron were on the same team? I don’t care for Lebron, but as a basketball fan that would be insane to watch. Just for pure fireworks I’d like to see that with Amare coming to town, too. It’d be like a damned And-1-Dunkaroo-Fest every time Miami played.

  • Robb

    Lebron should write a book: From crab dribbling to Kangaroo dribbling. That was ridiculous.

  • roman

    How about Mo Williams and the rest of the crew help out. Turning out to be a great regular season team.

  • http://www.youtube.com/ The Promise

    I’m telling you, this happens every year, LeBron’s teammates fade in the playoffs, because they tend to stand and watch him do it by himself. But I will agree with T-Money, he cannot be to blame for his teammates not doin what it takes. Mike Brown has the most talented team in the League, by far and away the best team hes ever coached, but yet, even after Mo had an awesome game in game 1, just because he doesn’t play well in game 2, he gets cussed at and pretty much gets all the blame? Shaq is not doing anything that Cleveland expected of him when they signed him. But I knew it would be that way, I’m afraid his last productive season was in Phoenix. He looks so old out there. I mean Mo is getting all the blame seems like, but Lebron didnt play that great either. 0-4 from 3. If anybody remembers, I said that Boston’s best chance was to force him to be a jumpshooter, and clog those driving lanes. They have did that fairly well, and his teammates are getting good looks, but they are not falling. And I also said that if Ray Allen played well, they could beat them. And now that Cleveland is going on the road, the supporting cast will probably play even poorer. Boston is hard to beat at home. Garnett looks rejuvenated also. If Allen and Rondo keeps playing like this, and they keep LeBron out of the lane, and if Rasheed continues to knock down 3′s, I believe that not only will Boston beat them, but I think they will do it in 6 games. So lets sit back, and see what happens.

  • Ronald

    @Jukai: It wasn’t a travel, at least not under the new NBA rules because the 1-2 rhythm doesn’t start until he collects but in the more confusing old rules the 1-2 rhythm counts at during the last dribble and not when he is collecting his dribble. But even under the old rules its sitll only a borderline travel (when you read the old rules in a strict manner as they had quiet a wide margin of interpretation). And in regards to Cavs depth? I do think they have a very deep team, only after watching their series against the Cavs did I realize that. I mean, they can go 10-deep easily, which is a rarity for teams in the NBa during the playoffs.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    At this point in the playoffs, it looks like Jameer Nelson > Mo Williams, by a long shot. Nelson is stepping up every time Dwight doesn’t / can’t.

  • http://www.motherjones.com AndTheJellosJigglin

    Oh yea Ronald the “new NBA rules”, I almost forgot about those. When did the NBA last change any rule that had to do with traveling? Please cite your sources.

  • J

    mo williams is the lamar odom for the cavs.

  • http://dsfjklf.com Jukai

    I blame 50% of this on Lebron and 50% of this on Mike Brown… no one else.
    Mo Williams is SIMPLY NOT GOOD ENOUGH to be an every day second option. It’s impossible to ask him of that. Lebron needs to start driving and dishing earlier, not hope his teammate will take over…
    Mike Brown needs to play JJ and Varejao almost exclusively in this series, he friggin needs to START THEM OVER JAMISON. Jamison cannot guard Garnett. Likewise, Delonte should be getting split minutes with Mo, as he’s a superior defender. If Mo and Jamison ain’t going bucket to bucket with Rondo and Garnett, it is pointless to play them the minutes they are getting. Start Delonte, Parker, Lebron, JJ and Shaq… bring Mo and Jamison (as a three) off the bench. At least do one or the other.
    I say Brown will realize this at around game six.

  • J

    well i think Brown now had realized that JJ deserves big minutes. i have no problem on the starters specially Jamison. in fact he needs to have the ball more next to Bron. starters remain but the distribution of minutes must be changed. everyone must step up. and don’t be afraid to make in-game adjustments mike brown. and to Mo.. you’re not wearing adidas anymore.. just do it.

  • J

    put JJ on KG. play Z. if we have to play our entire roster then do it. what’s all this “were the deepest team in the league” if we don’t put it into good use? what’s all that for if were always coming down to 8 players this playoffs? we have 10 players capable of performing good. 10!

  • J

    sense of urgency.

  • Knicka

    Punks step up to get beat down. Let the celtics play Magic cause cavs suuuuuuuck

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    I used to coach a skinny southpaw with additude in the under 16s back in 2001. He was so unco-ordinated that this was how he used to do EVERY lay up, you could even replicate this and land on ONE foot, not two (the JUMP STOP as it was known a decade ago…) and still step off for the layup…ugly as sin as far as moves to the basket go. But legit and well within the rules of play. Some players and officials alike just call violations based on the ‘ugliness’ of a play. Bad form.

  • vtrobot

    @ Tarzan: I’ve been thinking that too. Miami ain’t NYC, but it seems like a real nice place to sit back on the beach and conquer the world. Dwayne and Bron would do damage. Riles comes back to coach. Etc. etc.

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    when I first saw that move, I (like most celtics fans) yelled TRAVEL!!! and of course went on to complain about all the special treatment lebron gets. upon looking closer, however, it is clear that this is NOT a travel. it’s a regular hop step that may look a little suspect just because he jumps so high.

  • J-City

    Put almost any decent PG in the league in Mo’s position and they’ll play just as well. How hard is it to stick open jumpers when Bron and Shaq draw double teams?
    Put Jose Calderon there, Nate Robinson, heck, even Chris Duhon (Yeah I said it) and the production will be the same.
    Mo thinks he’s better than he is. Plain and simple, he’s Damon Jones of 3 years ago.

  • dsleepy

    wow. just wow.

    to all the people who say that lebron does not have good teammates: what team are YOU watching? cleveland’s got one of the deepest teams in the L. Legit all-star pieces with Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams. More-than-serviceable center in Shaq. Delonte West, Jamario Moon, Z-Ilgauskus, even Anthony Parker…what teams wouldn’t want to have these types of solid complimentary players? at what point can we stop making the “lebron doesn’t have good enough teammates to win” argument? that team is so stacked it’s ridiculous. if bron can’t get it done with this team, you cannot blame the teammates. the coach, maybe. but this team is legit. i hate the cavs, but even i have to admit that danny ferry did a helluva job here.

  • dsleepy

    forgot to mention jj hickson who is playing some good ball right now.

  • jdo

    Ok now the problems with the cavs were at point guard and shooting guard. First mo didn’t cover rondo past the free throw stripe. Anthony parker needs to be a lock down guard and not let ray Allen even breathe. They need to put the bigger and better defensive player jj hickson on kg. For the last thing I think that the cavs need to man up and be the aggressors. Here’s a line up that I think might work.

    C shaq
    Pf jj hickson
    Sf antwan jamison
    Sg lebron
    Pg rotate delonte and mo

    I think delonte would be the better candidate right now.

  • Eric

    Mike brown is the problem plain and simple. If Mo Williams is not getting it done, use the depth of the bench. Start 6’8″ Moon on Rhondo and swarm him with taller players, (Mo is like what 6’0″?) every 2 or 3 minutes bring in a fresh guy off the bench with one single job, smother Rhondo with everything you got for 2 to 3 minutes, then after being tired out which is inevitable, bring in someone else off the bench. WHERE IS MIKE BROWN’S GAME PLAN??? It’s not that hard when you have the deepest bench in the NBA. Good coaches GET IT DONE with what they have, look at Doc Rivers gettin it done with a bunch of old guys and one young all-star(Rhondo) STOP yelling Mike Brown and get a freakin game plan for god’s sake!!!