SAN ANTONIO -- Cleveland coach Mike Brown has a problem. His team looked overmatched in Game 1, and one of his key starters, Larry Hughes, was all but worthless. Nursing a foot injury that isn't going to heal until after the season, Hughes made only one basket Thursday in 23 impact-free minutes.
Mike Brown also has a solution. His name is Daniel "Boobie" Gibson, and he put together his fourth straight impressive playoff performance in Thursday's Game 1 by scoring a team-best 16 points off the bench. For all the LeBronmania surrounding these Finals, it was the second straight game that the unheralded Gibson led the Cavs in scoring.
So it had to disappoint Cleveland fans to see Brown come into the postgame press conference and immediately rule out one thing that might give his team a better shot in Game 2. Asked if he was pondering a lineup change to replace Hughes with Gibson, Brown offered an immediate "No."
Pressed further on the question, he said, "It's one game. We're going to go back and take a look at the tape and make some adjustments but one of them won't be a lineup change."
Here's the problem: It's not just one game. It's actually been a few games since Hughes hurt himself, and he hasn't played well in any of them. Moreover, one or two games starts looming pretty large when it appears there are only three left in the season, unless Brown comes up with an immediate and powerful remedy.