Cleveland Cavaliers head coach JB Bickerstaff responded positively when asked about his confidence level in what the Cavs can do against New York in the first round of the NBA Playoffs during a postgame press conference.

“I’m confident in our group, period,” Bickerstaff said, via Bally Sports Ohio. “I believe, when we’re at our best, we’re a tough out for anybody. We need to make sure we’re aware and tighten up the details and the execution and all those things.

“It’s going to be a new test for us. We have guys that are going to be in their first playoff series. It’s never going to come easy, but I have a lot of confidence in our group.”

On Sunday, the Cavs fell to the Charlotte Hornets in a 106-95 loss. Though center Jarrett Allen and forward Evan Mobley made the starting lineup, both were limited to 12 minutes apiece in favor of Cleveland’s options off the bench. 12 players earned minutes at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, including guard Sam Merrill, who garnered a career-high 17 points after he hit six of his 12 total attempts and three of his nine shots from beyond the 3-point line.

“It’s what you do it for,” JB Bickerstaff said when asked how it felt to know there was more basketball to play behind the 82nd game this season. “You want to be a part of something that matters. Being able to put yourself in a situation to be in the playoffs, your team matters.

“With this group, go all the way back to the bubble, not being invited to the bubble and our guys responding to that. Taking huge steps, growing as individual players and growing as a team to the point where we’ve taken steps every year to get better and better. That’s what you want to see. I’m extremely proud to be a part of this group and work with these guys every day.”