When Mike D’Antoni decided to walk away from the Los Angeles Lakers, it was no shock to see that other teams were mildly interested in his services. But if those head coaching jobs don’t work in Mike’s favor, there’s likely a position on the Cleveland Cavaliers bench if he’s willing according to Anthony Lima:
Hearing Cavs and David Griffin have interest in bringing on displaced Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni as offensive coordinator. They have a past
— Anthony Lima (@AnthonyLimaFAN) May 11, 2014
While, based solely on my evaluations, D’Antoni has been a good head coach in the NBA, there’s a chance he could be an even better assistant coach, playing the role of an offensive coordinator as the tweet says. Take a look at the Los Angeles Clippers for example. When Doc Rivers was traded for, Rivers brought in Alvin Gentry to sure up the offense while he handled the defense and personalities that were on the Clippers. The role as assistant head coach allowed Gentry to focus on one area and it paid dividends as the Clippers offense took leaps this season compared to the previous year.
Last season the Cleveland Cavaliers finished 23rd in offensive rating and 21st in assist ratio. Early on those troubles could be linked to Andrew Bynum, but the struggles existed throughout the entire season. This is Mike’s area of expertise. For years he’s been able to field teams that thrived in high-paced situations.
Looking at the Cavs roster they have fits that’d thrive under Mike. Their guards (Irving, Waiters, Jack) would work in a high-tempo offense. The bigs (Bennett, Varejao, Zeller, Thompson) are equipped to run the floor. The only weak spot, the wings, would also receive a boost, but this is an area that’ll improve as the Cavs have a solid pick in the draft and some cap space going into the summer.
At the moment, nothing is guaranteed. The Cavaliers are getting themselves in order as they’ve solidified their general manager position, allowing David Griffin to maintain the position. The idea of D’Antoni in a conserved role where his one job is to construct an above-average offense is a brilliant one and if the Cavs can pull this one off, they’re chances of making the playoffs will jump around 10 percent.