Cavs' J.B. Bickerstaff gives typical coach excuse after Celtics take Game 4

In conclusion to Boston's victory at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Joe Mazzulla's counterpart takes his concerns to the press room afterwards.
The Cavaliers' head coach was not too happy.
The Cavaliers' head coach was not too happy. / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Joe Mazzulla and the Boston Celtics were able to walk out of Cleveland with a win and, more importantly, a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Cavaliers. Mazzulla's counterpart, J.B. Bickerstaff, did not hold back during his postgame press conference, expressing frustration about how the referees called the game.

“I’ll be honest with you, I was disappointed with the way the whistle blew tonight,” Bickerstaff said postgame (h/t Cavs Insider). “I thought our guys deserved much better, the way that they were competing. They were attacking the paint, they were getting after it the same, both teams were. We’re not asking for anything more, but we’re asking for equal. And I don’t think we got an equal opportunity at it tonight from that standpoint."

To dig a little deeper here, the Cavs' had a total of 17 personal fouls compared to the Celtics' 12. In addition, the free throw discrepancy favored Boston who shot 24 free throws compared to only seven for Coach Bickerstaff's squad.

However, the deficit for Cleveland was within arms reach, and it can't be an excuse for how they performed overall. Right at the 1:55 mark of the fourth quarter, the score stood at 102-97 after a Caris LeVert layup. From that point on, the home team was unable to get any stops without fouling and sent the Celtics to the charity stripe, only stretching the chance of making a comeback thinner.

What else did Coach Bickerstaff say about the refs' whistle in Game 4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers-Boston Celtics series?

Coach Bickerstaff pointed out that he's not inside the heads of refs so it's not like he can tell them when to blow the whistle or not.

“I don’t know, I can’t answer that. I’m not inside those guys’ heads. But what I do know is they [Boston] had zero fouls in the fourth quarter, until late in the game.”

The brighter side in all of this is that there is still more basketball to be played and it'd be best for both teams, not just the Cavaliers, to focus on their task at hand.

Besides, the Celtics did not have their best performance by any means themselves.