Cleveland Cavaliers head coach JB Bickerstaff shared his thoughts on what the Cavs will be up against when they take on the Brooklyn Nets in back-to-back matchups.
“They’re a capable bunch, and they have individual competitors,” JB Bickerstaff said following practice on Monday. “They have very versatile guys. (Forward Mikal Bridges) has taken a big step on the offensive end of the floor. We know (guard Spencer Dinwiddie), what he’s capable of.
“We expect them to come out like their back is against the wall. We have to be prepared for that.”
Cleveland.com Cavs reporter Chris Fedor wrote multiple people he had spoken to were “privately hoping” for a Nets matchup in a first-round playoff series on Friday. Since last Tuesday, Brooklyn slipped to sixth in the Eastern Conference, losing two of the West’s top squads, the Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings, after falling to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Paycom Center.
Cavs guard Caris LeVert, who started his career with the Nets in 2016 after the Indiana Pacers traded his draft rights for forward Thaddeus Young, commented on his former team.
“You’ve got a lot of guards,” LeVert said. “They’re all kind of driving to the rim, moving the ball. Those teams are pretty tough to defend. When you’ve got three or four players who can shoot the 3-ball, create for themselves, they’ve got depth too.
“Fighting for a spot in the first six, trying to stay out of the play-in. It’ll be two competitive games.”
Bridges, who won his second NCAA national championship with Villanova over Caris LeVert’s alma mater in the Michigan Wolverines, exploded for 25.9 points per game in his first 16 games with the Nets.
The Cavs will tip off against the Nets at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday in the Barclays Center. The game will be broadcasted on NBA TV and Bally Sports Ohio.