Central Notes: George, Blatt, Cavs

Despite suffering a gruesome leg injury playing for Team USA this summer, Paul George still hopes to play for the team in the 2016 Olympics, writes Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star. USA Basketball national team director Jerry Colangelo weighed in, saying, “The reality is that people that have played the game, coached the game and been in the game know that it’s part of the game. Injuries can happen at any place at any time. We appreciate the attitude Paul has about it and the comments that (Pacers president) Larry Bird made after the incident were great in terms of support.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • If any rookie coach is equipped to mold a roster of players together to compete for a championship in his first season, it’s Cavaliers coach David Blatt, writes Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. Blatt’s former player Jordan Farmar, who played several months under Blatt for Maccabi Tel Aviv during the 2011 lockout, said, “He’s [Blatt’s] unbelievable. He plays you to your strengths. He’s really open to communication. He’ll be awesome there.
  • Also from Bucher’s article, Josh Childress, who played for Blatt in a Greek League All-Star game, said, “Very nice guy and great to play for. He’s extra good at making in-game changes. I only really know him from that All-Star Game, but I’ve heard he’ll do whatever it takes to succeed but is not a my-way-or-the-highway coach.”
  • Both players did acknowledge that Blatt had some adjustments to make, him having never coached a player of LeBron James‘ caliber. Childress added, “If anyone is a star overseas, it’s the coach. I’d liken it to college. The coaches are more respected, their voices carry a little further. No one is really bigger than the team. Euro coaches, in general, though, have much more authority and control than NBA coaches do. It’s, ‘This is my show. If this American doesn’t work out, I’ll get another one.’ [Blatt] has coached in enough different countries that he’s experienced his fair share of different situations, but he’s never not been totally in control of his team.
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