Over at Complex’s Triangle Offense, I wrote about Cleveland Cavaliers rookie coach David Blatt, his relative inexperience, his reputation as an offensive innovator, and how this all ties in to Cleveland’s expectation to win a title (immediately) this season.
You can read the entire piece here. An excerpt is below.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to contend for a championship this season, but they’ll be led by rookie head coach David Blatt, who has a wealth of coaching experience overseas but never spent a single NBA season on the bench. Of course, here, success is another relative term. In Cleveland, a bunch of wins in the regular season will be expected, not celebrated. A deep playoff run? Necessary. A championship? It’s the only thing that matters.
We’ve been here before. When LeBron joined the Miami Heat back in 2010, it was with the same immediate expectations that exist now. That team got off to a 9-8 start, the fit between LeBron and Dwyane Wade was awkward at best, and an incident where LeBron brushed by Spoelstra on the way to the bench was the center of conversations of Pat Riley potentially looming as a replacement. It took the Heat another year to figure it all out.
Blatt faces the same pressure as Spoelstra did in Miami and Mike Brown did in Cleveland because of the mere presence of LeBron, but even with the same “inexperienced coach plus best player in the game” math, Blatt’s situation is entirely different. For starters, Pat Riley was in control of the Heat organization in 2010 and despite all the whispers, placed his full support behind Spoelstra; the ax didn’t swing low over Spo’s head despite media and fan pressure. And within a year, the Heat had hit their goal.