3. Hold: Coach J.B. Bickerstaff
Over the past few years, head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has done a tremendous job navigating the Cavs through their rebuild. From the trying times of 2020 and 2021 to the surprise play-in berth in 2022, to having the Cavs’ first 50-win season in five years in 2023, Bickerstaff has completely turned this team around. He has built a culture built on togetherness, toughness, and having fun. However, the jury is still out on Bickerstaff and how far he can take this team.
Last spring in the playoffs, Bickerstaff was thoroughly outcoached by New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau. Bickerstaff made a series of questionable decisions throughout the series that ended up hurting the Cavs. From relying too much on the pick and roll to keeping his rotation too short, Bickerstaff’s lack of adjustments doomed him. While it was his first playoff series since his days with the Houston Rockets, it was still concerning that a Cavs team that won 51 games in the regular season got bullied in the first round in five games.
There is no doubt that Bickerstaff has done a lot for this Cavs team. The team has progressed every year he has been at the helm. However, it remains to be seen if Bickerstaff can bring this team closer to achieving their championship goals this season. 2024 is a critical year for the Cavs, where another first-round exit would be the franchise’s worst nightmare. Bickerstaff must lead the team to improved postseason performance if he wants to stick around long-term.