1 obvious, 1 subtle move J.B. Bickerstaff must make to turn Cavaliers into contenders

Sacramento Kings v Cleveland Cavaliers
Sacramento Kings v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Obvious: Give Sam Merrill actual rotational minutes again

While Mitchell led the way for the Cavs without Garland or Mobley and earned Eastern Conference Player of the Month in January, Cleveland found hidden gems and spark plugs deep into their bench throughout that time. Perhaps the biggest bench contributor in that time was flamethrower wing Sam Merrill.

Merrill has averaged 5.4 three-point attempts in just 15.8 minutes per game, knocking down 44.1 percent of them. The Utah-born wing is not just making an impact; he has been historically great from downtown but has been put back to the end of the bench lately, Merrill does not provide elite defense that Isaac Okoro does, but he is necessary to the Cavaliers' success on offense. He has single-handedly disrupted defenses with his constant off-ball movement and quick trigger.

Getting Merrill back into the lineup every night is not as simple as it is to say it should happen. Merrill is 6-foot 4-inches and would take away minutes from somebody else if he came back. Okoro is also emerging as one of Cleveland's best perimeter shooters, and his defense is second to none.

If Merrill replaces anybody in the lineup, it needs to be Dean Wade. Wade's defense is stellar, but he is quickly fading into a non-factor on offense. Cleveland has size and defense in their frontcourt already, and Okoro, Mitchell, Caris LeVert and Max Strus have handled themselves well on the perimeter. The Cavaliers have also already seen success in playing a true small ball lineup.

When Strus sank four triples in 67 seconds before a 59-foot game winner against the Mavericks, he was playing the power forward spot with Garland, Mitchell, LeVert and Allen filling out the other four spots. The Cavs have the ability to be fast, versatile and disruptive on offense, spreading the floor and forcing defenders to chase them everywhere. Sam Merrill deserves a chance to bring that lethality back to the Cavaliers, and he recent has said he believes it, too. Bickerstaff should bring Money Merrill back into the lineup. There is no excuse when there is proof it can work.