June 21, 2024

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The Cavaliers fired head coach J.B. Bickerstaff after five seasons

The Cavaliers fired head coach J.B. Bickerstaff after five seasons

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

Bickerstaff, 45, has led the Cavaliers through a rebuild, winning 99 regular-season games the past two seasons, but the franchise now begins a search that will hopefully land a coach to take Cleveland deeper into the Eastern Conference playoffs.

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

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

Cleveland wants a new approach and president of basketball operations Kobe Altman and general manager Mike Gansey will begin their coaching search.

Altman and Gansey will begin drafting their roster in the coming days, but there is one candidate to keep an eye on: 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 large talent base with All-Star guards Mitchell and Darius Garland and a frontcourt that includes Allen and Evan Mobley.

Under Bickerstaff, the Cavaliers rank seventh in defensive efficiency with Mitchell, Garland, Mobley and Allen playing just 28 games together this season, according to ESPN Stats & Intelligence.

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