A major point of discussion this summer centered around head coach J.B. Bickerstaff after the team’s predictable offensive approach. The stagnancy devastated the Cavaliers as the Knicks could easily control the tempo and suffocate any attempt Cleveland made.
In short, Bickerstaff was out-coached by Knicks veteran head coach Tom Thibodeau. The deserved criticism hurled toward Bickerstaff will put him under the microscope this season. Regardless of his undeniable defensive mind and cultural impact, if Bickerstaff cannot integrate the improved depth Cleveland picked up this year, the coaching staff will be the first piece of the franchise under scrutiny.
Conversely, Bickerstaff’s position in Cleveland could be safely guaranteed if he manages a more “dynamic” offense as he reportedly is planning to introduce. Examples of this have already been witnessed in the offseason, as the Cavaliers have thus far battled without Allen due to a left ankle bone bruise. With Allen sidelined, Cleveland has implemented numerous different offensive approaches, showcasing the potential fluidity Bickerstaff could find for the Cavs.
The critical element in this scheme will be the consistency in Bickerstaff’s mindset. As Fedor mentioned in Lowe’s podcast, the Cavs will need to be “unpredictable”, always changing their approach to counteract the opponent’s defensive weaknesses.
While a coaching change could help the Cavaliers improve their offensive attack, it would only be the start of things to come. The clock is ticking on convincing Mitchell to stay in Cleveland, and next summer would have to be a major retooling.