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Cavs Heading into the Playoffs Surrounded by Questions

Photo by Charles Murray

Cleveland Oh. – In a season filled with difficulties the Cavs head into their final three games with a goal. Gaining some momentum and focusing on the details. It’s much easier said than done as the Cavs have struggled to be consistent throughout the year. Be it injuries, or a month with seventeen games in 30 days, or just inexcusable losses, the Cavs have endured a season of uncertainty. With all the outside noise surrounding them, The Cavs are still the five seed in the East and still could end up with home court in at least the first round of the playoffs. Now, that comes with them being able to win some games. Starting with Wednesday’s game against Memphis. They need to then take that into Fridays game against the Pacers, and Sunday against the Hornets.

Photo by Charles Murray

The Cavs are not far removed from being the hottest team in the NBA. A reminder of how long the NBA season really is. The Cavs have had every starter out at some point in the year. They have missed key rotation guys. While every team deals with injuries, the issue for the Cavs has been the timing of the injuries and what they mean. When Jarrett Allen was out at the start of the year, he was missed but there was time for him to figure things out. When it was Darius Garland and Evan Mobley, the Cavs found a groove and were the hottest team in the NBA. Now Donovan Mitchell is struggling with a knee injury and the Cavs are trying to get him ready for the playoff run, while also making sure his knee is ok. The fact that they are even in the position they are in is pretty remarkable and can be attributed to their depth. The Cavs are not a bad basketball team. They just have had an unusual streak of unfortunate luck.

Photo by Charles Murray

Another question is who will they play? The most likely team will be the Orlando Magic. But they could play the Pacers, Heat, 76ers, or the dreaded Knicks. In a way, and since I believe the Cavs are better than them, I want the Cavs to play the Knicks. I know, I know… I want the Cavs to feel like they can get over their demons and beat the team that has had their number. But if it’s not the Knicks, all the other teams present problems too. The Magic are young and while they are inexperienced, they present the issues of not knowing what they don’t know. Those kinds of teams can be dangerous simply because they feel like they should be there, and sometimes play extremely loose. Playing a team like the Cavs, the Magic would feel like they have a chance. And they would.

Photo by Charles Murray

The Pacers, Heat and 76ers all are unlikely, but still a possibility. They all present problems. Philly has last season’s MVP Joel Embiid back from injury. The Heat are a proven playoff team with “Playoff Jimmy.” The Pacers are a fun team who have different options although they haven’t looked the same since Tyrese Haliburton’s hamstring injury. All this said, the Cavs will need to perform well in this year’s  playoffs. This is the third year under coach Bickerstaff and three years in a row, the Cavs have stumbled heading into the postseason. If the Cavs can find some magic, and win at least one series, they can maybe run it back with the core, and get another crack at it without the injuries. If they falter out of the playoffs in a fashion similar to last year? Well…. anything goes.

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