Although the Cleveland Cavaliers are still in third place in the Eastern Conference with an 18-11 record, they’re very much still a work in progress.
The team has some definite strengths, including its backcourt, the big man duo of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen and its defense, which is first in defensive rating in the NBA.
Y'all ever just think sometimes about how the Cavs have Donovan Mitchell & Darius Garland & Evan Mobley & Jarrett Allen?
— Voldemalort (@Voldemalort) December 16, 2022
But the first third of the season has also revealed some not-so-pleasant truths about the Cavs, but the good news is that they have lots of room for improvement, not to mention some scary potential.
These two areas, once rectified, could allow them to really take off and perhaps challenge for a spot in the NBA Finals sooner than expected.
1. Cleveland’s Bench Is Not Exactly Potent
The Cavs have one of the better starting lineups in the league, but their bench is woefully weak, especially offensively.
As of this writing, they rank just 27th in the NBA in bench production at 28.0 points per game, and that bench also ranks 24th in 3-point shooting percentage.
When Donovan Mitchell is resting, Cleveland needs its reserves to step up, especially since Darius Garland has regressed this year and is struggling with his offensive efficiency.
2. The Wing Position Needs Improvement
The small forward spot has been done by committee this season, as Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, Lamar Stevens and Dean Wade have all gotten chances to show what they’re capable of.
But so far, none have stood out as consistent 3-and-D players.
Finding one, either through internal improvement or a trade, would help the Cavs get to the next level.
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