Is it time for Cavaliers to give up on Bickerstaff?
Since their playoff loss, Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has been under the microscope. The front office trusted in him, seeing their failure as a personnel issue more than a coaching issue. So far, the offense has been able to implement the new additions. Max Strus especially has been a perfect fit in Cleveland, as he continues to have the best season of his career.
When the offense is right, everything looks amazing. Bickerstaff has put Evan Mobley at the elbow with the ball, giving him free reign to facilitate and score. While Mobley has made his fair share of mistakes in that role, he seems to learn with every one of them. It is encouraging to see the young big develop throughout the course of a season.
Bickerstaff falls short in the same area the entire team is falling short - consistency. In a horrific loss to the Blazers, Bickerstaff ran an eight-man rotation and did not capitalize on a dominant performance from Mobley. After scoring 20 points through the first three quarters, Mobley played just under eight minutes and had zero field goal attempts in the fourth quarter.
Bickerstaff's inconsistent trust in his players, both starters and secondary, is baffling. At the start of the season, Bickerstaff touted the depth of this team as a true strength, suggesting a 10-man rotation was reasonable. While every coach will overstate their team's greatness before the season, Bickerstaff's poor rotations are a recurring issue. Going back on his word is frustrating. Additionally, in the five games following Bickerstaff's proclamation that Porter is earning a spot in the nightly rotation, the young guard has only played a combined 24 minutes and has only appeared in three of those matchups.
There is only so much to say from third-party perspective, and little can be known about the internal dialogues or work that Bickerstaff is having. This season, though, it is easy to see that the team as a whole is improving while Bickerstaff is more of the same.
Stepping away from the doom and gloom, the Cleveland Cavaliers have 62 games left and are above .500 in the standings. Entering week seven with an 11-9 record, these are the two Cavaliers who made the most impact in week six.