INDEPENDENCE, Ohio – The Cavaliers’ 2019-20 season is inching closer, and with that came the team’s annual media day Monday at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
New Cavs coach John Beilein started things off and touched on how the franchise will look toward player development and improving as the season progresses.
Here are some highlights of what Beilein said Monday.
The Cavs are coming off a 19-63 season, and for the first time since 2014, they missed the playoffs.
Beilein was hired in May, leaving Michigan after coaching the Wolverines for 12 seasons. As the Cavs look to continue developing their team, Beilein is looking forward to seeing how the Cavs grow throughout the season.
“I look at it a little bit like Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse,” Beilein said. “There’s a lot of good things going on down there, just like with our basketball program. They didn’t have to knock it down and build another one. But they had to repurpose, refinish, rebuild different areas to keep up with the times. And we’re going to be doing the same thing.”
For Beilein, the Cavs’ success this upcoming season isn’t linked to wins. He wants the team to improve with each day.
“If we get better every single day, we’re going to have a heck of a year.”
Transition to the NBA
Beilein projected optimism throughout his press conference.
With the NBA having a shorter preseason window, Beilein said he knows he’ll have to be quick with how he and the coaching staff approach practices. But at the same time, he also doesn’t want to give up focusing on the basics of the game.
“We have to focus on the fundamentals that our young first- and second-year players need, with the guys that are really seasoned veterans,” Beilein said. “Like Kevin (Love), like Tristan (Thompson), that have been here (in the NBA) nine, 12 years, respectively.”
Beilein said he wants to make sure the Cavs’ veterans aren’t bored with doing the same things. He also wants to balance that with helping the young players learn.
Beilein on Kevin Love
Beilein’s two-guard offense favors big men who can be versatile on the wing, particularly from a shooting aspect.
Beilein said he went to New York City twice to get to know Love. Once he went when Love had the minicamp with other Cavs players, and then another time he simply went to visit him.
He talked about Love’s ability to play the power forward and center positions, with his ability to score, shoot and rebound.
“He’s a nightmare for another five to guard,” Love said. “At the same time, he’s also got some ability where he can take advantage of smaller fours.”