Expectations will be high for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2022-23 NBA campaign after they thoroughly proved that the post-LeBron James rebuild is ahead of schedule last season.
Last season, the team just barely missed out on a chance to compete in the playoffs after falling up short in the play-in tournament.
Now, All-Star point guard Darius Garland has made it clear that he not only thinks his Cavs can get into the playoffs, but also make it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals.
He said as much when he was a guest on the “Varsity House” podcast.
“I think we can get even better,” he said. “I think we can make it to the Eastern Conference Finals next year for sure. We’re coming back with a chip on our shoulder. … We’re a young team. Like you said, we battled through a lot of adversity this season. So, it was cool just being there, but we weren’t satisfied. We all in. We are all ready to rock and roll.”
Garland’s words are exactly what any Cavs fan would want to hear from the team’s young leader and star. He’s come a long way from being the quiet and shy rookie that he was just a couple of seasons ago.
With the offseason inching forward, players all around the league are working on their craft to improve as players and teammates. It’s clear that Garland is highly motivated to get better to give his team the shot he needs to take that next leap forward.
Once the 2022-23 campaign begins, the Cavs are expected to be near the top of the East. However, they’re not yet considered truly elite. Of course, if the Cavs can make good on Garland’s prediction and advance to the conference finals, that entire narrative will change.
The last time the Cavs advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals was in 2018, James’ final year with the organization.