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J.B. Bickerstaff given gift of Christmas contract extension by Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 22: Head coach John-Blair Bickerstaff of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts during the first quarter of the game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on December 22, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

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J.B. Bickerstaff got what every NBA coach wants for Christmas: A little bit of job security.

In the wake of a surprising and impressive start to the Cleveland season, the team announced the extension on Christmas. The new deal runs through the 2026-27 season, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

“J.B. Bickerstaff is, with all certainty, the right head coach to lead this franchise into what we believe is a very promising future,” Cavaliers coach Koby Altman said in a statement. “The decision to extend J.B. is not based solely on the early success of this season, but rather a body of work since his arrival to Cleveland. His leadership style, coaching experience and commitment to player development has instilled a growing confidence that resonates across our entire organization. We continue to see innovative and strategic examples of his impact on this roster, coupled by his unique ability to build upon a culture that leads to sustainable success.”

The Cavaliers are 19-13 to start the season, and while they currently sit fifth in the East they have the fourth-best net rating in the league (+5.5). Their offense has been middle of the pack despite strong chemistry between Darius Garland and Ricky Rubio in the backcourt; however, the defense is third-best in the league and rookie Evan Mobley plays a big part in that.

Bickerstaff has been critical in both developing the Cavaliers’ young players, and building a team chemistry and culture. He has earned the extra years on the bench, and the chance to see this Cavaliers team through to whatever it ultimately becomes.