This season, the Cavs came in fresh off of a 22-50 win-loss record in 2021 and 19-46 record in 2020 (due to shortened seasons).
After carefully going back and reviewing “BOLD PREDICTIONS” made across the sports world about the Cavs’ 2022 season, none predicted the Cavs to be playing this well.
Many of us expected a leap forward this season. Even one or more predicted that Darius Garland would be a most improved player candidate if not “near All-Star worthy.”
Others stated that with Evan Mobley’s addition in the Middle along with Jarrett Allen, this team would be formidable on defense. That has been a true statement and probably the most accurate. However, no one seemed to predict the Cavs to be looking at a possible playoff berth this season, nonetheless sitting at 4th place in the East (with a 31-20 record) after 51 games.
Many bold predictors had the Cavs winning as much as 39 this season and just falling short of the play-in tournament in the Eastern Conference.
Because of this lack of confidence and expectation of the Young Cavs, there wasn’t much attention coming their way. No one in the mainstream media was talking about them and teams were not circling the Cavs game on their calendars as a game they needed to be “ready” for.
However, the Cavs have worked hard despite injuries and Covid protocols to establish themselves as a threat in the East. But have they let the season’s early success go to their heads?
The Cavs put the world on notice after blowing out Giannis Antetokounmpo and the World Champion Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night (1/26). Media personalities like Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, and Charles Barkley have been singing the Cavs praises as of late.
However, on Saturday (1/29), the Cavs went into Detroit to face a Pistons team that was 11-37 in the standings. And they did not live up to their hype. We know it was only one game, but the Cavs let all the attention get to them.
After that game, coach J.B. Bickerstaff said in a statement, “I honestly thought we were a team [Sunday] who spent 3 days reading their press clippings about how good they were, & then got off to that start & really were feeling ourselves. Then Detroit punched us in the face.”
Garland went on and explained to the media that “We thought it was going to be a cakewalk.” He continued by saying….” You see their record and think that it’s gonna be an easy win….”
The Cavs are a young team still learning how to be winners in the NBA. This was a learning experience for them. We have to allow room for them to grow through their mistakes.
This is where a veteran locker room presence can be valuable.
Last night the Cavs played the New Orleans Pelicans and came away with a 93-90 win without their star player Darius Garland (who was out with low back soreness). Again, showing remarkable resilience and the ability to bounce back like we are used to seeing.
Let us not judge the Cavs too soon. What do you think? Are the Cavs letting the attention get to them? Will the pressure of everyone’s A-game get to them? Let us know.
Photo courtesy of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Instagram page.