4 Cavaliers on Thin Ice Heading Into the Playoffs

Plenty of members of the Cleveland Cavaliers have a lot to prove in this year's playoffs.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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3. J.B. Bickerstaff

Maybe this isn't fair. Bickerstaff has done a good job with this team for all intents and purposes. He took a young, inexperienced team and slowly built a surefire playoff team. Players like Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Caris LeVert all became significantly better players under him, and he has carried himself well as the face of the organization in his four full seasons.

Plus, he didn't have an easy job. As talented as this team was the past two seasons after the addition of Donovan Mitchell, it's not the easiest team to fit. It has two undersized guards and two big men whose best position is center. They haven't had a reliable starting forward for multiple seasons in a row now. He also dealt with significant injuries to core players all of 2023-24 and overachieved during those times.

Under these circumstances, Bickerstaff has done a great job in the regular season. But, this team has higher ambitions now.

The 4-1 loss to the Knicks despite having the home-court advantage last season was a disaster. The Cavs have home-court advantage again this season. If they lose to the young, inexperienced Orlando Magic, it will be very difficult to justify Bickerstaff's return for another year. He has to prove himself to be a good playoff coach this year.