J.B. Bickerstaff praises Lamar Stevens for being poised and unafraid amid new starting role

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers are in the midst of a four-game winning streak, and third-year forward Lamar Stevens has had a major hand in it.

The 25-year-old has started in six straight games for the Cavs. After the team went 0-2 in his first two starts, it’s gone 4-0 since.

Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff had nothing but good things to say about Stevens after Cleveland’s win on Wednesday.

“He’s got great poise,” Bickerstaff said. “He’s not afraid of the moment. There’s not a matchup he doesn’t believe he’s got the favor. At the end of the game, when you’ve got guys like Donovan [Mitchell] and Darius [Garland] and their ability to create for others and score, you’re gonna need to get those stops. And Lamar has been able to fit in with that group to help them get stops. The threesome — him and Jarrett [Allen] and Evan [Mobley] — it’s tough defensively. We’re working to find that balance, but I think he’s done a great job so far.”

Since being inserted into the starting lineup six games ago, Stevens has averaged 9.8 points and 3.7 rebounds per contest on very efficient shooting clips (48.8 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from deep).

It’ll be interesting to see if he can maintain his impressive shooting from beyond the arc because he’s only a 26.5 percent 3-point shooter for his career. Regardless, the Cavs have to be extremely pleased with the production they’ve gotten from him lately.

Cleveland’s winning streak couldn’t have come at a better time. The squad had dropped five straight games before the run started and seemed to be in danger of losing momentum. That’s no longer a concern.

What perhaps is still a concern is how streaky the Cavs have been overall this season. After opening the campaign with a loss, Cleveland won eight games in a row before going on that aforementioned five-game losing streak, and the team is now enjoying its current four-game winning streak.

While the Cavs are in pretty good shape with a 12-6 record, some fans would probably like to see the streakiness turn into consistency eventually.

The team has time to get there, as it’s still only November.

Cleveland’s next three games will come on the road. If the Cavs want to extend their winning streak to five, they’re going to have to take down the Milwaukee Bucks on the road on Friday.

After that, the squad will face the Detroit Pistons on Sunday and Toronto Raptors on Monday. The Cavs are third in the Eastern Conference at the moment and would love to gain some ground.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and is very excited about the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers.