Cavaliers fire coach J.B. Bickerstaff after five seasons


Despite the franchise’s first berth in the Eastern Conference semifinals in six seasons, the Cleveland Cavaliers dismissed coach J.B. Bickerstaff on Thursday morning.

Bickerstaff, 45, ushered the Cavaliers through a rebuild, winning 99 regular-season games in the past two seasons, but the franchise now embarks on a search that it hopes will land a coach to take Cleveland deeper into the Eastern Conference playoffs.

After replacing John Beilein as interim coach in 2020, Bickerstaff had a 170-159 (.517) record in five seasons with the Cavaliers.

Cleveland was the Eastern Conference’s fourth seed with a 48-34 record, beating the Orlando Magic in an opening-round seven-game series. Boston defeated Cleveland 4-1 in the conference semifinals as center Jarrett Allen and All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell missed the final two games.

Cleveland wants a fresh approach and president of basketball operations Koby Altman and general manager Mike Gansey will embark on a coaching search.

Altman and Gansey will start to formulate a list of candidates in the coming days, but one to watch: Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, who led the Brooklyn Nets to the playoffs with current Cavs Allen and Caris LeVert.

The Cavaliers have a significant talent base with All-Star guards Mitchell and Darius Garland and a frontcourt of Allen and Evan Mobley.

Under Bickerstaff, the Cavaliers were seventh in defensive efficiency with Mitchell, Garland, Mobley and Allen playing only 28 games together this season, according to ESPN Stats and Information research.

Source : ESPN