The coming season could well prove to be a successful one for the Cleveland Cavaliers, with the Cavs looking to make a strong move towards making the playoffs.
A lot of expectation will rest on the shoulders of young stars like Darius Garland and Jared Allen, both first-time All Stars last season. They’ll also be hoping for big things from their young prospect Evan Mobley. They even added a new powerful weapon in the form of shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, signed from Utah Jazz.
Arguably one of the best defensive sides in the league, the Cavs go into the season with an impressive, well-rounded roster with no clear weaknesses, full of young and hungry talent. These factors, combined with their incredibly underrated coach J.B. Bickerstaff, marks the Cavs as a genuine contender to make the play-offs and one of the dark horses for betting on the NBA.
Last season the Cavs finished 44-38 and finished 9th in the East Conference — a 22-win improvement on the previous season. This development saw them making the play-in tournament, though they ultimately lost out to the Brooklyn Nets.
A big reason for this turnaround in form was Darius Garland. The point guard finished the season averaging 21.7ppg, 8.6 assists and 3.6 turnovers per game, earning himself a place on the NBA All-Stars for the first time, as well as a place amongst the three finalists for NBA’s Most Improved Player Award.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were founded as an expansion team in 1970. They are a part of the Eastern Conference, as well as playing in the Central Division.
Known for their passionate and loyal fanbase, the atmosphere in their home arena, the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, has played a huge role in the Cavaliers history.
They won their first division title in 1976. This division championship was capped off by one of the most memorable games in the team’s history: The Miracle at Richfield. This was when, in game seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Washington Bullets, Dick Snyder hit a game-winning shot with only four seconds left.
One of the biggest impacts that the Cavaliers organization had on the NBA is the rule now known as the"Stepien Rule". This rule states that teams can’t trade first-round draft picks in successive seasons.
The Cavs had their best regular season in 1988-1989 with a record of 57-25. Their earliest rival was their cross-state rivals, the Chicago Bulls. Even though these teams faced each other since 1970, the rivalry would only truly become competitive during the Michael Jordan years in Chicago. This rivalry would heat back up again after the Cavs drafted Lebron James in the 2003 NBA draft.
The Cavs first trip to the NBA Finals was in 2007, led by Lebron James. On July 8 2010, James announced in a nationally televised one-hour special “The Decision” that he would be leaving the Cavaliers to sign with the Miami Heat. James would eventually rejoin the Cavaliers a couple of years later.
The 2016 NBA Championship marked the Cavaliers' first title in franchise history, as they became the first team to come back from a 3–1 deficit to win the Finals. It was also the city of Cleveland's first championship in major professional sports since the Cleveland Browns won in 1964, marking the end of “The Cleveland Sports Curse.”
Their next big rivalry emerged around this time. One team in particular kept stepping in the way of the Cavs winning titles — the Golden State Warriors. The two teams faced off in four consecutive NBA finals from 2015-2018. The Cavs would only win one of those four meetings, in 2016. In 2018 James would leave the team once again, this time for the L.A. Lakers.
As it stands, the Cavs have won one NBA title, seven Divisional titles, and five Conference titles.