Why the Cleveland Cavaliers can win the NBA Finals this season

Darius Garland (#10) celebrates with his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates. (Photo by Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports)
Darius Garland (#10) celebrates with his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates. (Photo by Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports) /
1 of 6
Darius Garland and Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images /

Who would have thought that we would be having this conversation about the Cleveland Cavaliers in late January of 2022. The same team that has finished in the bottom three of the Eastern Conference in each of their last three seasons. The same team that features one of the youngest regular starting lineups in the NBA with an average age of 22. Yes, those Cleveland Cavaliers have a real shot at not only snagging the first seed in their conference, but winning the whole thing.

Before the season started, the Cavs were pretty much written off. ESPN projected the Cavs to win 26 games this season. They’ve won 30 with 33 games to go.

If that’s not convincing enough as to how incredible this season has been for the Cavs, try losing the teams’ scoring leader of the past two years, Collin Sexton, to a season-ending injury after playing just 11 games to start the season.

Still not enough? How about losing Ricky Rubio for the season after he cemented himself as the leader of the second unit and making a case to become the Sixth Man of the Year.

They’ve shown that they can suffer devastating injuries, commit to the “next man up” mentality and continue to win games at a high clip. That’s the making of a very special team.

The national media has finally started to notice what we’ve been seeing for months now. The Cavaliers have arrived and they need to be taken seriously. Not just as a playoff team, but as a true contender. Gone are the days that teams can write off the Cavs as an easy win on their schedule. Just ask the teams point guard and leader, Darius Garland, who said this recently, via Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

“You can’t just come to Cleveland and roll over us,” Garland said. “Got to come in and compete at a high level just like you do with any other team — Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Lakers.”