The Cleveland Cavaliers have come a long way since the departure of LeBron James. After being one of the worst teams in the NBA, the Cavs drafted well and made some key trades to improve their team. Now, they have assembled their best roster since LeBron James was on the team. The Cavs aren’t quite title favorites, but they will definitely be competing for a championship next season.
After winning the Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes, there is a lot of excitement surrounding the young Cavaliers’ team. They have the potential to do special things this upcoming season. Here are two major goals that the Cavaliers should set for this upcoming season.
Best Record in the East
The Eastern Conference has been viewed as the weaker conference for a while. However, that is no longer the case. The East has several teams that will be competing for an NBA championship. Some of those teams include the Brooklyn Nets, the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat, the Philadelphia 76ers, and Milwaukee Bucks.
The Cleveland Cavaliers should join that conversation next year. They have the potential to have four All-Stars next season, which includes Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley. All four players are likely to improve from last season. Having all four players should keep them competitive during the regular season, even if they start to suffer from injuries.
The Cavaliers are going to win a lot of games this season, and they will definitely make the playoffs. However, there are a lot of other teams that are going to win a lot of games in the East. The race for the best record in the East is going to be very tight. The best records should only be separated by a few games. That means the Cavaliers have a chance to finish with the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Reach the Conference Finals
The Cavaliers’ core is still very young. While they are capable of competing for an NBA title now, it is not the most realistic goal in a competitive Eastern Conference. They will have plenty of years to be competitive in the future. They don’t need to rush anything right now. This season should be focused on the development and making sure the young stars can gel together.
Although they shouldn’t immediately expect a championship, they should plan on making a deep playoff run. The franchise hasn’t had much playoff success outside of LeBron James. In fact, the team has failed to make the playoffs since James’ departure.
Last season, they were as close as they could be to a playoff appearance. They were among the top East teams in terms of standings before injuries derailed their season. They missed the playoffs after being eliminated in the play-in games.
Now that they have Donovan Mitchell, an elite playoff competitor, they have a chance to make some noise in the playoffs. Mitchell currently averages 28.3 points per game in the playoffs, which ranks him seventh in playoff points per game in NBA history. An Eastern Conference Finals appearance is certainly possible for the Cavaliers, and it feels like a realistic goal to set for them at this point.
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