The Cleveland Cavaliers may be in third place in the Eastern Conference, which is certainly impressive for such a young team, but by no means should they feel satisfied or complacent.
They certainly have some strengths, but some issues have also come up ever since they lost five games in a row, and they’re issues that need to be rectified if they are to go on an extended playoff run this spring.
These two problems seem to stick out the most.
Finding A Consistent Performer At The Wing Spot
The Cavs have probably the best backcourt in the NBA in Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell, and Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen are a formidable twin towers duo up front, especially defensively and on the boards.
But the small forward position remains a problem.
Caris LeVert won the starting job at that position when the season started, and although he was red-hot in his last game versus the Philadelphia 76ers, overall he has been something of a liability.
He is shooting just 37.8 percent from the field this year, and although he is at 38.7 percent from 3-point range, he has made only 28.3 percent of such attempts in his last 13 contests.
Caris LeVert last 4 games:
24.4 TS% pic.twitter.com/FSKu6nT06D
— 🌪 (@HsgvensSon) November 30, 2022
Many have felt Isaac Okoro has the potential to be a solid 3-and-D wing, but he has hit just 20.0 percent from downtown and 40.5 percent overall.
Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff needs to find a consistent 3-and-D small forward, or else executive Koby Altman will need to acquire one.
Cleveland is just 26th in bench scoring at 29.7 points per game, and Kevin Love is their only reserve who averages double figures in scoring.
This lack of bench firepower ultimately puts more pressure on Garland and Mitchell to produce points, which could be problematic against elite teams and in the postseason.