Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has won three of his first four games in his new role and indicates in a new interview that he expects to be around for quite a while.
Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated interviewed Bickerstaff on a variety of topics, including his long-term status with the Cavaliers organization.
“To my knowledge, at some point in time we will negotiate a long-term deal,” said Bickerstaff. “But this wasn’t an interim thing. This was a conversation that Koby [Altman] and I had. And he said, ‘You’re the head coach moving forward.’ So, the plan is I will be back next season with a long-term deal.”
Bickerstaff inherited a 14-40 Cavaliers team that was floundering under previous head coach John Beilein, who resigned during the All-Star break.
The win over the Heat, a 125-119 overtime decision, was especially notable since the Cavaliers had trailed 84-62 midway through the third quarter. During the Beilein era, the Cavs had developed a habit of offering no such sense of urgency in similar situations.
While the Cavaliers are still saddled with a 17-41 record on the year, the early returns offer hope that Bickerstaff will be able to develop the multiple young talents on the team’s roster.
Chief among Bickerstaff’s tasks is turning the team’s backcourt into a powerful asset, with second-year man Collin Sexton and rookie Darius Garland leading the way.
In Monday night’s victory, another member of the backcourt, rookie Kevin Porter Jr. connected for a career-high 30 points. Finally, the hope is that the last of the Cavaliers’ 2019 first-round picks, Dylan Windler, will return to health next season.
For the time being, the Cavaliers and Bickerstaff are focused on the present, with their next game coming on Friday night when they face the New Orleans Pelicans on the road.