The Cleveland Cavaliers may be on a three-game losing streak after an ugly 106-101 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Friday, but they still hold an 8-4 record, which is tied for third place in the Eastern Conference.
They have some minor issues to sort out that have come to light during this West Coast road trip, but overall, the outlook is still very bright for them.
These two players have been most responsible for the Cavs taking a step forward this season.
No one expected Cleveland to land Mitchell during the summer, especially since he was incessantly linked to the New York Knicks, and especially considering he was born in suburban New York City.
His arrival has taken the team from a good but flawed team to one that seems inevitably bound for championship contention.
Through 11 games, Mitchell is averaging 31.6 points on 51.3 percent overall shooting and 43.4 percent 3-point shooting, 4.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game.
This was Filthy by Donovan Mitchell pic.twitter.com/3nUtRbANNv
— Alex 👋 (@Dubs408) November 12, 2022
For the first time since LeBron James‘ second departure, the Cavs have a player who can single-handedly win games for them in crunch time.
Last season, Love narrowly missed out on winning the Sixth Man of the Year award, and this season, it looks like he may again have a real chance at taking home that award.
He’s averaging 12.3 points and 7.7 rebounds in 20.5 minutes a game while shooting a stellar 41.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Love’s first few years without James were rough, as his shooting percentages fell, and he was often the subject of trade rumors, not to mention his admitted struggles with mental health issues.
But these days, he has experienced a mini-renaissance, and he is playing a role in the Cavs’ renaissance, as they’re once again a major power in the NBA.