Cavs: 2 things that J.B. Bickerstaff should look to do for squad to improve

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff talks with Cleveland guard Darius Garland. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff talks with Cleveland guard Darius Garland. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Larry Nance Jr., Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers big man Larry Nance Jr. high-fives Cleveland guard Collin Sexton in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

#1: Having the Cavs play at a faster pace

The Cleveland Cavaliers are a team that would benefit from an increase in pace. Since the 2013-14 season, besides an anomaly in 2017-18, the Cavaliers have always been in the bottom half of the league when it comes to pace. The pace being low during some years was fine considering we had a team of veterans constructed around LeBron James.

Now, the team is largely young and full of athleticism so a change in pace would make so much sense.

Looking at the roster, the Cavaliers have players in Collin Sexton, Larry Nance Jr., Kevin Porter Jr., Isaac Okoro, Andre Drummond, JaVale McGee and somewhat, Darius Garland, who can run in transition. Looking at the teams that were tops in pace over the last few years, there are teams that resemble the current Cavaliers’ infrastructure.

Teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves last season, the Sacramento Kings in 2018-19 and the Atlanta Hawks in 2018-19 are all teams with a scoring guard, athletic wings and a rim-running big man. For the Cavaliers, that could be Garland and Sexton as the guards, Okoro and Porter Jr. as the wings, and Drummond, McGee, who should definitely be a notable transition weapon, and Nance Jr. as the big men.

In the 2017-18 season when the Cavaliers were a top 10 team in pace, they had played Kevin Love at center so that is something else the Cavaliers could do to try and increase the pace as it would space the floor and allow for easier transition points seeing as it would lead to more speed on the court.

A change of pace would be great for the Cavaliers seeing as they have been a low-pace team for a while now, and were 23rd in the NBA in that metric in 2019-20. This change would bring a much-needed new direction to the team and allow for J.B. Bickerstaff to get creative with lineups. The hope would be that this new change would be a step in the right direction.

So what’s a second key area for Bickerstaff to look to improve next season, then?

We’ll get into that next.