JB Bickerstaff revises plans to use Donovan Mitchell
“I spoke to him last week and he told me something that I haven’t forgotten. Expectations don’t exist when you accept who you are. We have to accept our identity. What people expect of us doesn’t matter. We are young, talented, we have great players. We have to play by those standards. »
JB Bickerstaff said almost everything with this statement in the columns of the Plain Dealer. The Cavaliers coach thus speaks of a discussion with Donovan Mitchell, who arrived in Cleveland a few weeks ago.
A group was born in Ohio in 2021/2022, the coach had started to establish a balance and the arrival of a rear who weighs 25.9 points on average during the last exercise necessarily changes things.
“It was quite unexpected”admits JB Bickerstaff speaking of this exchange. “We will have to make changes and we will make sure that it works. The coaching staff has great ideas and offensively, we are moving into another dimension, with new threats. The opposing coach, what decision will he make? Our players are going to be a problem for a lot of people. »
“We are going to play collective and fast basketball”
With Darius Garland, Caris LeVert and now Donovan Mitchell, the Cavs have strong outside attackers. As there is only one ball, this trio will have to find automatisms and a new balance.
“We will have to be collective”, announces the coach. “I told Mitchell, Garland and LeVert that they will have to play at their best. We want them to be aggressive, to share things and force the defenses to make decisions. Most defenses don’t have strong enough elements to put a player on each of those three. We are going to play collective and fast basketball. »
The questions don’t just arise on offense for Cleveland, but also on defense. The presences of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen are invaluable and last season, when JB Bickerstaff added Lauri Markkanen, the team played with a very large and very effective defensive formation.
With Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell, the Cavaliers will now display a very small « backcourt » (both are 1m85) while the former Utah will have to find defensive reflexes and desire in Ohio.
“Garland and Mitchell are advancing defensemen. They must continue in this direction. Our system must be solid because if we have problems with size or matchup, it must be sufficient to overcome these problems. With Mobley and Allen, we have two players who have the level to be defender of the year, it’s rare. We don’t have three large interiors anymore, only two now, but it can work. The principles will have to be respected: that the adults help each other, that the exteriors protect the interiors… I don’t think we’ve lost all that with this exchange. » concludes the coach.