All told, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt’s first season in the NBA went about as well as he could have hoped—he helped guide the Cavs all the way to the NBA Finals, after all.
But there were also plenty of bumps along the way.
Blatt discovered just how difficult and intensely-scrutinized the job of coaching LeBron James can be; failed to properly utilize Kevin Love; and the short-handed Cavs came up short in the title round against the champion Golden State Warriors.
Per the AP:
“When I came to the NBA I was under the impression that this was going to be a breeze,” Blatt said. “I’ve been coaching for 23 years at the highest level in Europe. I coached in the national-team environment, coached professional teams, coached Euroleague teams and I thought I thought I knew basketball and I thought I knew how to coach. Which, in my mind, I did. […] But I realized that when I came over here it was a very, very different game with a whole new set of problems and a whole slew of things to deal with inside and outside of the game.”
“We were playing every (Finals) game with a different team,” Blatt said. “We started off with one team, then we lost one guy so we had to change a little bit of the way we played. Played a few more games and another guy went down, played with a different team, that guy came back, then all of sudden we were playing with half of our old team and it just kind of went like that as we went along. […] I’m really (angry) we didn’t play the final series with all of our players,” he added.
Blatt also spoke about how the schedule in the NBA is far more hectic than in Europe, and how that makes game-prepping a bigger challenge. He said European teams usually have about six full weeks to prepare for a season, while the NBA has rules limiting camp length and how many two-a-days can be part of the buildup to opening night.