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67RIEFNS No. 13: David Blatt’s offense

Maccabi Tel Aviv v Cleveland Cavaliers

Maccabi Tel Aviv v Cleveland Cavaliers

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The NBA is full of talent, personality and suspense. During the offseason, It’s easy to forget how wonderful the league can be. So, I’ve assembled 67 Reasons I’m Excited For Next Season (67RIEFNS). They’ll be presented in no particular order.

Kevin Pelton of ESPN projected the Cavaliers will score 118.0 points per 100 possessions.

The all-time best mark is 115.6, by the 1986-87 Lakers.

If that sounds ambitious for Cleveland, that’s because it is. The difference between the offensive ratings between the Cavs and those Lakers is more than between the Lakers and the 30th-best of all time.

But the Cavaliers demolishing the record is also attainable.

LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving are ridiculously good offensively. However, we’ve seen talent like that in All-Star games – running vanilla schemes and playing like strangers.

Sure, a little time together should get Cleveland’s big three in sync. David Blatt can take them much further.

Pelton’s system doesn’t account for coaching, so Blatt could push the needle either direction. But Cleveland’s new coach is no babe in the woods.

Blatt’s offense with Maccabi Tel Aviv and the Russian national team drew rave reviews, and the Cavaliers already see what all the fuss is about. For the ones who don’t, LeBron is ready to teach them.

Blatt gets the ball and players moving, spacing the floor excellently. Players who can shoot from the perimeter, score in the paint and recognize the right pass excel. LeBron, Love and Irving do all three at elite levels.

Even Cleveland’s two other likely starters, Anderson Varejao and Dion Waiters, could also fit well in Blatt’s offense. Varejao is an excellent screener, a key skill for Blatt. Waiters, an improved 3-point shooter, can help space the floor. He also has the strength to develop in interior game when teammates pull opponents out of the paint give the shooting guard a matchup advantage in the post.

Coach Nick of BBall Breakdown explained how Blatt’s offense works. The first video, filmed before LeBron and Love joined Irving, shows sets more generally. The second video shows specifically how LeBron, Love and Irving fit.

There are still concerns. How will Blatt’s scheme translate to the NBA? Will Love get pulled to the perimeter too often to offensive rebound at a high rate? Will Waiters shed his selfish tendencies?

But with LeBron, Love and Irving – and Blatt – the Cavaliers’ offensive potential is sky high.