Cleveland Cavaliers 2021-22: Season Preview
The Cleveland Cavaliers fed their fans fools gold last season after a promising start. However, as the year went on and the elite of the league found their footing, the Cavaliers’ hopes of making the playoffs were soon dashed to the ground. As a result, Cleveland was in for another rebuilding year, but they did make some moves during the season.
They were involved in the massive James Harden trade and brought in Jarrett Allen for rim protection as they soon would buy out Andre Drummond. Collin Sexton emerged as a promising NBA scorer and he and Darius Garland showed flashes of potential. Unfortunately, rookie mistakes, Kevin Love trade rumors and drama, and a core that has yet to fit together were just too much for Cleveland to make the next jump. With this in mind, it is worth pondering whether the Cavaliers will be a surprise team this season.
Cleveland Cavaliers Season Preview
What to Expect
If there is one glimmer of hope for Cleveland fans, it is that they reside in the relatively weak Eastern Conference. As a result, it is not far-fetched to think they have a chance to sneak into the postseason picture via the play-in tournament. Unfortunately, every other bottom-feeder in the East is thinking the same thing heading into the new season. Cleveland does boast young talent and a former All-Star in Kevin Love. However, we have yet to see this group of players actually show cohesion on a consistent basis. Evan Mobley has shown so far that he was a top-five lottery pick for a reason and could be the franchise’s building block for the future. However, if that is the case, there may not be much of a future for Jarrett Allen in Cleveland. All in all, expect another rebuilding year for the Cavaliers, but slight improvement all-around.
Last year, we saw Collin Sexton come into his own, though some aren’t always happy with his shot selection. That is okay though, as the kid has the confidence to keep attacking and will get better with time. What about his counterpart though? Darius Garland finished last year with totals of 17.4 points, 6.1 assists per game, and an effective field goal percentage of 51.7 percent. A nice sophomore campaign to say the least, especially when you see how much he improved from his rookie season.
If Garland keeps on this trajectory, then he is due for a major breakout year. For context, Garland improved from 12.3 points per game to 17.4, from 3.9 assists per game to 6.1, and from an effective field goal percentage of 47.6 percent to 51.7 percent. These are major improvements and there is nothing minute about them. Not to mention, Garland is deceptively quick. This makes him a dual-threat offensively considering he also shot 39.5 percent from three-point land last year. Pick your poison wisely, because he is savvy at getting to the rim as well.
Sorry to break your hearts Cavaliers fans, but this is going to be another learning year. They could possibly make the play-in tournament. However, it is likely they will be outmatched by another Eastern Conference team with a little more veteran experience and star power. Not all is lost though. Mobley looks to be a solid rookie with promise and the backcourt is one of the most explosive young duos in the league. Kevin Love’s future with the team remains a question mark and will likely be dependant on the Cavaliers start the new campaign. The Cleveland Cavaliers may be a rebuilding team, but they won’t be one you want to overlook.
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