The Expectations of a First Year Coach


There are many reasons to be optimistic for the upcoming Cleveland Cavaliers seasons. That all starts from the top, from Dan Gilbert finally somewhat looking like an intelligent owner, to Griffin having a noticeably great draft, to our new players in Andrew Wiggins and Joe Harris, and of course to our new Head Coach in David Blatt.

If you are a knowledgeable basketball fan, you know how highly regarded Blatt is in Europe as a Head Coach. The big question is what should we expect from Blatt as the Cavaliers Head Coach, which I will properly and thoroughly examine.

Head Coaches can make or break a team without true superstar talent. Let us look no further than Mike Brown, our previous Head Coach. He owned a brilliant win-loss total as a Head Coach overall in 314 wins-167 losses (.652) before a bad 33-49 season in which the Cavaliers, widely thought to finally make a step further towards the postseason, ended up finishing 10th in the utterly terrible East. Was this all in the end result on Mike Brown? Of course not, injuries (And Andrew Bynum) held this team back a lot. One can make the argument without Bynum this Cavalier team would have made the playoffs. With that known, Brown was and will always be an awful offensive coach, which widely held back this team filled with great offensive talents. More often than not, it turned to ISO by either Kyrie or Dion and that led to people honestly questioning whether Mike Brown even had an offensive play book. When this team played as a unit, it won. In the many cases they didn’t, they lost. That is on Mike Brown, who in many instances appeared to not coach at all.

Now what should we expect from the illustrious David Blatt? 

In my honest opinion, and even more than last season, I believe that this current Cavalier team is capable of 45 or more wins. It may be a lot to expect, but is still reasonable. Not going into much detail about the offense in general, I do expect him to run the Princeton Offense. And equally I expect this team to buy in. This may not be immediate as a whole, but I feel this young and hungry Cavalier team will eventually buy in and you will watch a new and improved Cavalier team. Expect some struggle with Blatt to begin, but perhaps not as much of a struggle as Jason Kidd in his first (And possibly last) stint as a Head Coach with the Brooklyn Nets. There is a learning curve to be found in the NBA, especially in a transition from Europe to the NBA. Yet, I believe David Blatt will take the NBA by storm eventually. With that said, what is something we should optimistically expect from the Cavaliers being coached by Blatt?

It may be a stretch but I expect him to quite possibly find a way to push himself into the Coach of the Year discussion much like Jeff Hornacek did in his impressive first stint with the Phoenix Suns. First year Head Coaches often do not find themselves in a great scenario like the Cavaliers are in, and he could very well quite possibly come in and electrify this young Cavalier team overall. Unlike other scenarios, the Cavs first goal is not a championship, but a playoff spot. They plan to push themselves back into the picture of teams contending for a title. And in 3-4 seasons we could very well be watching a dominant team led by David Blatt.

It is yet to truly be seen if Blatt can be a capable Head Coach in the NBA, but I ask overall why not? He has won wherever he’s gone, and done so in dominant fashion, and his former players have shown nothing but praise for him and his methods overall.

This Cavalier team was thought to have needed defense, which Byron Scott did not bring. And clearly Mike Brown did not fit the bill of our head coach of the future. Which is perfect.

David Blatt is not an offensive coach nor is he a defensive coach, he is a basketball coach.

And perhaps, first year or not, that is what this young team needs to bring out the greatness in them. There may be some big expectations on Blatt, but he sees that solely as another challenge to be conquered. And as much as people may disagree, if the players on this young team buy in completely to Blatt’s system and his team methods, we very well could have a 45 win season and one where we finally see the breakout team, for once, be the Cavaliers as many have so often predicted for this team in the last two seasons.

I stand by this when I say, with a capable coach this Cavalier team is a playoff team. And I fully believe David Blatt is that coach.

I do not know about you all, my fellow Cavalier fans, but I am thrilled in the state of this team and collectively with our first year Head Coach David Blatt.

As always,

Go Cavs!

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