David Blatt taking lessons learned into new season

— -- INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- After a turbulent first season as Cleveland Cavaliers coach, David Blatt issued a new mantra Monday as he got ready to open training camp.

"It's important for all of us to not overstate but to overachieve," Blatt said.

Last season, Blatt sometimes rubbed his veteran players the wrong way with unorthodox tactics from 20 years of coaching in Europe. He combined it with (at times) strong opinions, once saying he was "one of the more experienced coaches in the world" and frequently railing against being called a "rookie" even as some of his players, including LeBron James, continued to refer to him that way.

So Blatt started off saying he hoped this season his interactions with James would be "not as personal" and more "business." And he wanted focus less on talk and more on, in his words, achievement.

"I had a lot to learn," Blatt said. "I didn't always realize just how much I had to learn about the game here and the ways of the game here. I did go through that. I feel that I'm starting the season in a better place and certainly more confident in understanding the things I need to do and the situations I'm going to face. That's a good feeling."

Blatt hopes to use a deeper rotation this season to develop more players as the Cavs head toward the playoffs. When the team suffered a spate of injuries during the postseason, Blatt had to rely on a handful of players as the Cavs made a push to the Finals.

He is hoping to keep an eye on James' minutes as the season wears on. The team re-signed J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert and added veteran Richard Jefferson to help reduce James' minutes load.

"We do have the opportunity this year to bring his minutes to reasonable levels and keep him in the best possible physical and mental shape," Blatt said. "That's a big part of what we tried to do in the offseason, and hopefully it'll pay dividends."