J.B. Bickerstaff warns rest of league of ‘dynamic’ offense Cavs have after adding Donovan Mitchell

Koby Altman, Donovan Mitchell and J.B. Bickerstaff

Though the dust has settled since the Cleveland Cavaliers executed a blockbuster deal to land All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, the excitement about the acquisition has not at all dissipated.

In fact, anticipation will likely only continue to grow until Mitchell makes his debut with his new team.

 

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That fact was quite clear during the new star’s introductory press conference on Wednesday afternoon. During the introduction, Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff issued a stern warning to the rest of the NBA regarding the beast that now resides in Northeast Ohio.

“We live our lives every single day by trying to do two things,” he began. “We want to be the most competitive team and the most selfless team. So, he’ll come in, and he’ll fit right away with that. As a coaching staff we sit back, and we have all these grand ideas, and it just goes to another level when you think about the dynamic offense that we can put on the floor and the threats that we have on the floor.

“You think about these three guys that are sitting here in front of us, and if you’re an opposing coach, what decision are you going to make? Who are you going to stay home on? Who are you going to leave? And then you throw in Kevin Love popping on the perimeter, J.A. (Jarrett Allen) and Evan [Mobley] rolling, or now they get the ball in the pocket. So, these guys can present some problems for people.”

Though the Cavs did have to give up a king’s ransom to land Mitchell, including Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, and multiple future draft picks and pick swaps, him joining the team takes the Cavs to a different level of relevance in the league.

Prior to the move, the Cavs were considered one of the most exciting, albeit unproven, rosters in the NBA. Last season, the Cavs failed to advance to the playoffs after losing both of their matchups in the play-in tournament.

Now, the Cavs are seen as a sure-fire playoff squad. Some might even consider them to be title contenders. Their starting lineup, which some have now said is the best in the league, now features three All-Stars.

After all, Mitchell has done more than prove that he can produce night in and night out during the regular season. He’s also played masterfully in the playoffs.

Though he’s yet to advance past the second round of the playoffs thus far in his young career, he cannot be blamed for that fact. In a seven-game series in the 2019-20 campaign against the Denver Nuggets, Mitchell averaged a jaw-dropping 36.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.

In the following season, he led his team to the second round and averaged 32.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game along the way.

Clearly, he can produce at an incredible level when it matters most.

Moreover, Mitchell’s addition to the squad makes the Cavs the beneficiaries of arguably the most talented backcourt in the league going forward. Mitchell and Darius Garland were both All-Stars last season, and the fit of the two players alongside one another seems excellent.

Garland is a pass-first playmaker who loves to facilitate and find the open man. Mitchell is a score-first shooting guard who uses his athletic ability and aggressiveness to create shots for himself and complete dazzling plays near the basket.

Combining that versatility in the backcourt with two-way stars in the frontcourt such as Allen and Mobley will make the Cavs a headache for opposing teams throughout the 2022-23 season.

Other contributors like Caris LeVert, Ricky Rubio and Isaac Okoro figure to also enjoy many benefits of playing alongside a player that demands the respect that Mitchell does from opposing teams.

Bickerstaff already seems very certain of that fact. It will only be a matter of time before the rest of the NBA has to face that reality as well.

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