The NBA has had some surprises this season. The Chicago Bulls are playing well and find themselves third in the Eastern Conference. The Washington Wizards are decent despite a recent losing streak. The Memphis Grizzlies are fourth in the West, and their star guard Ja Morant is playing like a potential All-Star. Several teams are doing better than expected, and if all goes well, they will remain in the playoff race.
Could the Cleveland Cavaliers be a part of that conversation?
The Cleveland Cavaliers Continue Their Win Streak
The Cavaliers find themselves on a three-game winning streak. They beat the Toronto Raptors in a game that came down to seconds. The Cavs won 102-101 after a defensive stop and missed OG Anunoby shot.
Cleveland snapped Toronto’s five-game winning streak and did it in style. The Cavaliers did not have a lead in this game until their guard Darius Garland made free throws with 4.8 seconds left. Then, their defense sealed the deal.
The Cavaliers now have a streak going with wins over the Charlotte Hornets, the Portland Trail Blazers and now the Raptors. And before their winning streak, they had solid performances against Western Conference contenders. They beat the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers (with a lackluster Paul George performance) but lost to the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns. But they still looked decent in their losses. So, it makes you wonder, what does the future hold for the Cavs?
Keep an Eye on the Cavs
The Cleveland Cavaliers are finally watchable. As a rebuilding team that went 22-50 last season, Cleveland has finally figured it out. Or are at least on the right path. Coming into the season, the idea of a big man lineup with Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley and Lauri Markkanen seemed ridiculous. But so far, it seems to be working out.
Allen is averaging a double-double with 14.4 points and 10.7 rebounds. He’s also had five double-double games this season, with his last being 16 points and 15 rebounds against the Raptors. Re-signing Allen was one of the Cavs’ biggest offseason moves, and it seems to be paying off. But he isn’t the only big man contributing.
Mobley is having a solid season. He is averaging 13.3 points and 8.2 rebounds. Mobley moved up to No. 2 in the KIA NBA Rookie Ladder this week and is showing great potential early into the season.
He also is quietly making history as he is the first player since 1992 to have 10 or more points, five or more rebounds and at least one block in his first five games. The last player to do it? Shaquille O’Neal.
Mobley has the potential to be something special, and day by day, it looks like the Cavs made a great decision.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are a team to watch. They are no longer a laughing stock and actually look like a team that can make some noise. While it is still too early to call them a playoff team, they at least are proving they have the potential. But if they make the play-in tournament, their playoff aspirations may be sooner than fans think.
Watch out for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Their performance against teams this year shows they are here and might be here to stay. So, don’t sleep on them.