The Cleveland Cavaliers looked intent on putting together a deep playoff run after a strong regular season campaign, but instead, they crashed out of their first-round series against the New York Knicks. The Cavs were officially eliminated after losing Game 5 on Wednesday night, and after the game, it’s clear that everyone, including head coach JB Bickerstaff, was feeling the effects of their season coming to a premature end.
It wasn’t supposed to go like this for the Cavs, but their double-big lineup was exposed all throughout the series, particularly when it came to their offense, by the Knicks. After hanging with the top teams in the Eastern Conference for much of the season, it’s clear this wasn’t what Cleveland was expecting to happen, and Bickerstaff offered an honest take after their final game of the campaign.
“Everybody’s hurting. We talked about this a lot this season, how valuable these experiences are, these learning lessons are for us. These are things that you can’t experience unless you go through it. As much as it hurts, these are the things that make you a better basketball player.” – JB Bickerstaff, Cleveland.com
The Cavs grew quite a bit throughout the 2022-23 season, but this resounding playoff defeat only proves that there is still work for them to do. They will now head back to the drawing board this offseason and attempt to figure out how to avoid something similar happening next season. But first, it looks like Bickerstaff and his team will take some time to decompress from their rough ending to the season.