Had it not been for their crushing loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the Play-In game, the Cavs would have had the privilege of facing off against the top-seeded Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. It sounds like Cleveland head coach JB Bickerstaff already had a game plan in mind for this eventuality and he has now provided a bit of advice for the Sixers, who themselves are now battling the mighty Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Bickerstaff appears to have given a lot of thought about the Heat and how to defeat them. According to the Cavs coach, the Sixers have to get creative if they hope to stand a chance in this series:
“They need to get in transition more and set more screens in the backcourt,” said the Cavs shot-caller on a recent episode of ESPN’s Get Up (h/t Peter Dewey of Cavaliers Nation). “And I’m going to say something that goes against everything I believe in. They need to play smaller. Spread the floor out more, find all of their shooters, put all of their shooters on the floor. Their athletes, let them get up and down and create space for them.”
This actually makes a lot of sense. Moreover, with Joel Embiid out due to injury, the Sixers might have no other choice as well. DeAndre Jordan was clearly ineffective in their Game 1 loss and with Embiid still set to miss Game 2, Doc Rivers might find some success if he is to heed the Cavs coach’s advice here.