1 obvious, 1 subtle move J.B. Bickerstaff must make to turn Cavaliers into contenders

Sacramento Kings v Cleveland Cavaliers
Sacramento Kings v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Subtle: Play Darius Garland at shooting guard in the starting lineup

In episode 214 of J.J. Redick's Old Man and the Three, Jarrett Allen joined the team and discussed a plethora of topics revolving himself and the Cleveland Cavaliers. One statement, though, holds more weight than it first appears. Redick's co-host Tommy Alter asked what Allen has seen in Donovan Mitchell since becoming teammates he did not see beforehand. What surprised Allen most was Mitchell's terrific passing.

"That dude can pass. The way he finds people in the short roll, finds me in the short roll, finds people in the corner. We all know he's a scorer... He can find anybody on the passes."

Jarrett Allen

Allen also took the opportunity to take a jab at Mitchell's defense in between complimenting him, but Allen's point should spark a change for the Cavaliers going forward. The Cavs have built their new-look offense around sharing the ball with everybody, allowing the bigs to facilitate from the elbow and running off-ball sets to open up a shooter. Mitchell became the captain of this offense and shined in that role.

Darius Garland, on the other hand, is an equally phenomenal passer; yet, he has shown a bit of discomfort still as the primary ball handler in this offensive scheme through no fault of his own. Garland's playstyle on-ball has led to numerous jaw-dropping moments, but he may be best off the ball more often when Cleveland's best five players are on the floor together.

The NBA has continually grown positionless. The best player is typically the one who initiates and coordinates the offense. While Garland is tremendous, he does not carry the offensive magnitude that Mitchell naturally creates. Bickerstaff has staggered Mitchell's and Garland's minutes when both are healthy, allowing each one to run the offense individually throughout most of the game. When together, though, subtly allowing Garland to feed off of Mitchell's gravity and find an open shot when defenses over-commit to Spida would unlock another element to Cleveland.

Garland has the talent to knock down a shot from seemingly anywhere on the court just like Mitchell, and allowing a more dynamic relationship between the two guards would greatly benefit the Cavs going forward. This would not take away Garland's time to facilitate and score when Mitchell rests. Garland has recently drained plenty of step back threes after creating the shot for himself, but in the starting minutes of a game, getting the defense to chase and get caught on off-ball screens is how the Cavaliers became dominant. They need to return to this, and it starts with giving Mitchell the ball.

Once again, Bickerstaff is a professional NBA coach and has been a finalist for Coach of the Year before. Regardless of criticisms he has earned over the years, he is pouring hours into film study and theory crafting. The Cavaliers are not in No Man's Land, but they are in a rut. These two changes can help them establish themselves before the playoffs once everybody is healthy.

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