Cavs’ J.B. Bickerstaff consults Guardians’ Terry Francona

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff yells to players during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Nick Cammett)

CLEVELAND — With the NBA playoffs approaching, Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff is turning to a wise neighbor for some feedback.

The Guardians play at Progressive Field right next to the Cavs at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, so a natural synergy exists between Cleveland’s professional baseball and basketball teams.

FILE - Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona makes a pitching change during the team's baseball game against the Houston Astros, Aug. 4, 2022, in Cleveland. Francona is feeling much better these days. He has a rod in his left foot that bothers him when he wears his beloved flip-flops, but it's a breeze compared to what he experienced in the past. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

Bickerstaff is tapping into the connection by consulting Guardians manager Terry Francona. The two exchanged text messages Saturday.

“I reached out to him to just see if I could pick his brain on some things,” Bickerstaff said Sunday. “He’s been open, and he’s always reached out and shown support.

“He and I, we’re set up [to discuss more]. We’re going to talk [soon], but I’ll keep all that stuff between us.”

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Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff yells to his team during the second half against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.

The Cavs wrapped up their regular season Sunday with a limited lineup and a 106-95 loss to the visiting Charlotte Hornets.

Cleveland (51-31) earned its greatest number of wins since it finished the 2016-17 season with the same record. Led by LeBron James, the Cavaliers were coming off their only NBA title back then.

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