JB Bickerstaff Calls Out Durant & Irving Trades After Cavaliers Defeat Nets

JB Bickerstaff Cleveland Cavaliers


Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

While the Cleveland Cavaliers were one of just two NBA franchises to sit out this year’s trade deadline, the same cannot be said of the Brooklyn Nets.

Brooklyn entered the season with as much talent and potential as any team, led by basketball legends Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. But a surprise trade request from Irving days before the deadline upended one of the East’s best-looking pre-All-Star Break teams.

Ultimately, the Nets were able to cash in on their two stars, netting Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Spencer Dinwiddie in addition to loads of draft capital in return.

Cavs head coach JB Bickerstaff was particularly impressed by the haul and quick-rebuild.

“I think they did a great job,” Bickerstaff said when asked what he thinks of what Brooklyn was able to do at the deadline, per Sharif Phillips-Keaton of Nets Wire. “A lot of times when you make the deals that they (Nets) made in the middle of the season, it can be really difficult,” Bickerstaff continued.”

The Cavaliers dispatched the new-look Nets 109-105 on Tuesday night in Brooklyn.

Jarrett Allen Calls Out Donovan Mitchell’s Dunk Over Nets

The biggest moment of Tuesday’s contest came with roughly 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Caris LeVert picked off an errant Nets pass and pressed the ball upcourt to Donovan Mitchell, who cashed in on an impressive dunk over Nets big man Yuta Watanabe.

After the game, Cavs big man Jarrett Allen came close to giving Mitchell’s slam perfect marks.

“That was one of his better ones,” Allen said. “It’s funny, we were talking about dunking, Donovan dunking, before the game and he had an excellent one. I give it a 9.7 out of 10,” Allen told Chris Fedor of cleveland.com after the game.

But perfection? That’s a bar that’s difficult to attain, according to Allen.

“I don’t know,” Allen said when asked why he didn’t give the dunk a 10 out of 10. “But I’m not a guy that can say it’s perfect.”

In Allen’s defense, even Mitchell wasn’t sure that it was the best slam of his career.

“It was not bad,” Mitchell said. “Everybody’s reaction in the timeout, it was like, ‘That’s your best one.’ It’s up there. I don’t know if it’s my best, but it’s definitely up there.”

Regardless, Mitchell, who stands at 6’1, eclipsed the mighty 6’8 Watanabe, a feat that in and of itself is miraculous.

Nets Big Man Nic Claxton Calls Out Cavaliers

The win over Brooklyn was likely warm comfort for a front office that hopes to see the Nets in the first round of the playoffs.

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“No one inside the organization would say this publicly — and they shouldn’t. But multiple people I’ve spoken to recently are privately hoping for a Brooklyn matchup. It’s easy to understand why,” Chris Fedor of cleveland.com answered in his latest Q&A column. “Even though the Cavs, with home-court advantage, would likely be capable of competing — and possibly winning — a seven-game series against any of the teams currently behind them in the standings, the Nets would be Cleveland’s easiest path out of round one.”

Ahead of the Cavs’ matchup with the Nets, Brooklyn’s big man Nic Claxton brushed aside any concerns of seeing Cleveland in the playoffs.

“I heard something like that, too. I don’t know if they think it’s sweet, but we’ll match up with anybody,” Claxton said. “We just try to take it game by game, win as many games as we can, and get as high a seed as possible. If that’s our matchup, then we’ll take care of it.”

The Nets currently sit sixth in the East, meaning the Cavaliers would either have to climb to the No. 3 seed (they’re at No. 4 and four games back of the Philadelphia 76ers) or Brooklyn would have to climb to the No. 5 seed.

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