With 22 games behind them, the Cleveland Cavaliers have a 14-8 record, which puts them in third place in the Eastern Conference.
It is certainly a solid record, although there have been some issues from time to time that have come up, not to mention a few tough or inexcusable losses.
Let’s take a look at how the Cavs have done overall, especially considering the strengths and weaknesses they have personnel-wise.
Cleveland’s Backcourt Has Been As Good As Advertised
Darius Garland has continued his progression as a star point guard in the NBA.
He is averaging 22.8 points on 44.8 percent shooting and 41.8 percent from 3-point range, along with 8.1 assists per game.
His 3-point shooting has improved once again, and those overall numbers are even more impressive when one considers he played poorly in his first six games.
Darius Garland = Pure Hooper 🤦🏽♂️
Shiftiest player in the league, lightning quick with every movement, finishing, shot making and passing all comes so natural to him. He knows he’s cold too.
🎥 @sidelinesources pic.twitter.com/L2WuA7di3P
— Ball Don't Stop (@balldontstop) November 3, 2022
Meanwhile, Donovan Mitchell hasn’t just been great, but he has perhaps even surpassed expectations so far, averaging 28.4 points a game on 49.0 percent shooting overall and 42.2 percent from 3-point range, all of which are career-highs.
Evan Mobley Has Improved A Bit
At first glance, it may seem like Mobley hasn’t taken that next step in his second season, at least statistically.
But he is shooting 55.5 percent this season compared to 50.8 percent last season, and his rebounding has increased from 8.3 to 9.0 per game.
On Wednesday, he started at center and held the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid to 19 points on 6-of-16 shooting.
The Wings Haven’t Gotten The Job Done
The wing position is a group effort for Cleveland, as Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, Dean Wade and Lamar Stevens have all had their shot at the starting small forward spot.
None have established themselves thus far as a consistent 3-and-D contributor, which is what the team needs from that position.
Overall, Not Bad
The Cavs’ five-game losing streak sticks out like a sore thumb, and their losses to the Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings were inexcusable.
But growing pains were always inevitable, and the team needs to continue failing forward and developing into a true championship contender.
Overall Grade: B
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