The Cleveland Cavaliers exited the playoffs early last season. Is there any way they’ll do better this year? Here’s why the Cleveland Cavaliers will have a great 2023-24 season.
After the drastic talent vacuum left in Cleveland after Lebron departed for LA the Cavaliers struggled to put together a solid team, let alone a solid season. They managed to improve every year, though, going 19-46 in the 2019-20 season, then going 22-50 in the following season, 44-38 in 2021-22 and finally 51-31 last season. Each season winning more than the last.
Although they continued to improve, this is the first year of real continuity for the current Cleveland Cavaliers. In 2018 Cleveland drafted Collin Sexton who, along with Darius Garland drafted the following year, sought to lead the new trajectory of the franchise. Jarrett Allen was acquired via trade in early 2021 and Evan Mobley was drafted during the following offseason. When the final piece of the current team (Donovan Mitchell) joined in the 2022 offseason it was at the expense of Sexton, who had missed a large amount of time the previous seasons due to injury. The point being there was never a season where a major piece of the team wasn’t acquired and/or shipped out, until now. Aside from adding bench players to address the team’s issues, none of the core of the team was moved. This means for the first time they have an entire offseason to build on their chemistry rather than having to establish it.
Speaking of bench players, Cleveland improved on their depth from last year. Adding Max Strus, Georges Niang and Ty Jerome brings a higher level of scoring than Cleveland fans could expect from last year’s team. They also retained their best rotational players in Okoro, LaVert, and Dean Wade.
Aside from the rotation pieces and role players, the Cavaliers also have a very talented young pool of players to pick from in the Charge. The most notable being Isaiah Mobley, Craig Porter Jr and Sam Merrill. Emoni Bates, this year’s Cavaliers draft selection, also has the potential to be a standout.
All young players
Every major member of this team is also very young. Mobley is the youngest at 22, Garland is 23, Allen is 25 and Mitchell is 26. Along with each approaching their prime, all of these players have been all-stars within the last 2 years, too. They’re only going to improve and, with each of them already being all stars before technically entering their prime, the sky’s the limit.
With the talent in this group, the biggest concern is undoubtedly injuries. None of these players played every game last season, meaning that it’s likely injuries will pop up again. On the flip side, that also leaves a sample of what to expect if any of these players miss any major time. Without Garland (missing 13 games) they went 11-2. Without Mitchell (missing 14 games) they went 7-7. They also went 7-7 without Allen and they went 3-0 in the three games Mobley missed. They’re not only able to survive while missing one of their guys, but thrive. When one of the better players does go down they’ve split even, but with an improved team the wins should start to come more readily.
With the overall talent spread well across the entire roster, losing any one player to injury isn’t going to derail the team. It may slow them, but with the rate this team’s improving at, it’ll be difficult to stop them.
This Cavaliers squad is poised for a great 2023-24 season.
Featured photo courtesy of NBA.com
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