The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to win after their 105-94 win over the Heat Monday night. Now, the Cavs are on a four-game winning streak, going 8-2 in their last 10 games. At 17-12, Cleveland now holds the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and has a chance to move up even more when they play the Bucks this Saturday. It is becoming clear the Cavaliers are not an anomaly or some fun short story. Cleveland looks like a legitimate playoff team and will continue to win this season.
Cleveland is a Legit Playoff Caliber Squad
The Cavs are getting it done on the defensive end complemented by balanced scoring. Their defense is why teams should take Cleveland seriously. At this point, Cleveland’s playstyle could even lead them to one playoff series win. There is a long way to go this season, but the potential season outcome for the Cavs is still something worth looking at.
Similar to any playoff team, the Cavaliers will want to avoid the NBA’s Play-In Tournament — which involves the 7-10 seeds. The Cavaliers snagging a sixth seed or higher really could happen thanks to their remaining schedule (the weakest in the NBA). This is why Basketball Reference gives Cleveland the highest playoff odds in the NBA at 98.8%. If the Cavs avoid the play-in, winning a playoff series is possible pending their matchup. For example, Cleveland would have a favorable matchup against the Bulls who are much smaller. Ultimately there is a long way to go, can the Cavaliers continue to win? The Cavaliers this season are somewhat reminiscent of the Knicks of last season. The Cavs are not loaded with superstars, but they play very well together with great defensive effort.
The Balanced Cavs should Keep Winning
The Cavs should certainly keep winning. They already have one of the better defenses in the league right now, that has been consistent. The recent trend of extremely balanced scoring is making them a big threat. Cleveland does have seven double-digit scorers on the season, that says enough about their balance. Recently, the Cavaliers are having a different leading scorer every game.
If one Cav has a bad night, another has stepped up in a huge way. Against the Heat, Darius Garland finally had a human performance shooting 5/16. That ended up being no problem after Kevin Love erupted for 23 points in just the second half. This is happening on a game-to-game basis due to many capable scorers being on the roster. Isaac Okoro has been one of the few players in the rotation who has struggled offensively this season. However, Okoro is now hitting his stride averaging 18 points over his last three while shooting 7/14 from three. Okoro will not remain this deadly from deep, but if he becomes a decent three-point shooter the Cavaliers will become even more challenging.
Cleveland looks like a playoff-worthy team as they continue to win. Their defense has been elite, but the recent success on offense is making them a true threat. If this continues, the Cavs have a great shot of contending for a playoff series this season, and that would be a major success.
Featured image courtesy of Kevin Blaze/USA TODAY Sports
“From Our Haus to Yours”