Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Cavs Former Coach Takes Dig at Big Man

J.B. Bickerstaff criticized Jarrett Allen in a recent interview.

Following the Cleveland Cavaliers exit from the playoffs to eventual champions the Boston Celtics, the team parted ways with long-term head coach J.B. Bickerstaff. In an interview for Sirius XM NBA radio this past week, Bickerstaff threw shade at his former player Jarrett Allen. Allen was absent from the Cavs final eight playoff games of the season with a rib injury he suffered against Orlando.

Cavs Former Coach Takes Dig at Big Man

A lot has been said about Jarrett Allen’s decision not to get an injection and play through his rib injury in the Cavs playoff series defeat against the Celtics. Allen dealt with the injury after taking an elbow from Magic wing Franz Wagner. According to reports the Cavs big man dealt with ‘excruciating pain’ and was unable to lift his arms.

Coach’s Comments

When Allen went down, fans and coaches were hopeful for a swift return. Instead, the injury nagged on and game four in Orlando was the last appearance Allen made this past season. Recently, when asked about Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Dončić’s injuries, Bickerstaff applauded his ability to play through them.

“This was a guy who was taking shots to his ribs so that he could go out and play, he was playing through pain, he wasn’t complaining”. The Cavs coach comments were slyly directed at Allen who opted against playing.

The Cavs felt the void Allen left quickly as they were dumped out by the Celtics in five games. Allen was immensely impactful for Cleveland who struggled offensively. As a starter, he averaged 16.5 points and 10.5 rebounds this past season and received votes for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. But, there has been uncertainty regarding the big’s future as his name has been mentioned in trade talks this summer. Allen’s Cavs teammates have also been open about the situation. Recently Marcus Morris said in an interview

“If you put me in that same position, ‘do I play?’ Yes,”.

However, Donovan Mitchell posted a picture of him and Allen on Instagram seemingly in support of his center.

Bickerstaff’s Struggles

However, Allen’s injury and subsequent missing from the Cavs lineup was not the reason for Bickerstaff’s dismissal. In his five-plus years as the Cavs head man, the Orlando series was his only playoff success. The Cavs went 170-159 under Bickerstaff, who helped navigate the rebuild after LeBron James departed for Los Angeles in 2018. Bickerstaff needed a strong playoff campaign to keep his job this summer, however yet again struggled leading to his departure.

The Cavs have been a strong defensive outfit since Bickerstaff was promoted, however they always struggled offensively. In just this season’s playoff run, Cleveland failed to score at least 100 points in eight of their 12 games.

Bickerstaff’s firing opened a head coaching search which is currently ongoing. The Cavs have been in talks with several coaches including Kenny Atkinson and James Borrego. The next coach of the franchise will certainly be tasked with improving the team on offense to compete for a championship in the near future.


More Posts