Cavs coach thinks referees are disrespecting his team
If JB Bickerstaff had a least favorite animal, it would probably be the zebra.
After a close loss the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, the Cleveland Cavaliers coach expressed displeasure with the way that the referees have been treating the team this season.
“We matched intensity, but what we have to do and have happen is match consistency,” Bickerstaff said, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “That’s in our performance, that’s the referee’s performance, that’s in all aspects of the game. We saw it tonight, we saw it the other night. We have to find a way … to earn people’s respect, where it is consistent. That’s what this league is about. This league is about your reputation and you earn your reputation. Those guys have earned their reputation. What’s right is right. I thought there were some calls that were definitely missed tonight that favored [Brooklyn], and that’s wrong. Our guys deserve better than that.
“We have to continue to keep pushing and keep scrapping until everybody in the league gives us that respect,” he went on. “The scrap, the toughness, the way that we compete, people should respect that. But I don’t think they’re watching. I don’t think they’ve seen the reputation that we’ve earned around the league. If you talk to other coaches, the teams we faced, there’s a respect there that we deserve, and that our guys have earned. But too many times there’s been critical moments where the consistency hasn’t been the same one end to the other end.”
The Cavs, who have been a lottery team for the last several years, are sitting at .500 now. They have been playing some scrappy, inspired ball, and many of their losses have been narrow defeats by single digits. But the Cavs have very few stars on their roster and are one of the youngest teams in the league with an average age of 25. That pales in comparison to star-studded squads like Brooklyn and Golden State, to whom Cleveland’s last three losses have all come to.
Still, the Cavs are competing despite losing one major piece for the season. Bickerstaff obviously thinks that they have earned better than what the referees are giving them right now.
Photo: Nelson Chenault-USA Today Sports