3 potential closing lineups for the Cavs in 2022-23 season

Darius Garland and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Darius Garland and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers are entering the 2022-23 season with a new-look roster. They added one of the game’s best scorers in Donovan Mitchell while trading away one of the key pieces of the famous “tall-ball” lineup in Lauri Markkanen.

Of course, adding a player like Mitchell immediately raises the floor for a team like the Cavs, but it comes with big changes to the play style and overall look of the team.

Last season, most of their success came when the games started and ended with a lineup that included essentially three 7-footers. This season, they won’t be able to resort to height to start and close out games.

This season, I would expect spacing, playmaking, and paint defense to be priorities for Cleveland down the stretch of most contests. They have the players to fill every one of those roles at a high level, it’s just a matter of putting those pieces together.

There are a couple of certainties when it comes to the closing lineups the Cavs will roll out this year. Darius Garland, for one, will always close games for this team as will Donovan Mitchell. Both are some of the most dangerous players in the NBA with the ball in their hands. Having a one-two punch in the backcourt like that will put constant pressure on defenders and make them scramble at times, creating opportunities for easy baskets around the rim and on the perimeter for awaiting shooters.

In my opinion, the other only real lock to be in the closing lineups would be Evan Mobley. I can’t really think of any instance where I wouldn’t want Mobley on the court at the end of games. No matter the opposing matchups, the 21-year-old should be able to take advantage of any situation. He’s just so talented that there isn’t any opposing lineup that can make him obsolete, unlike several other big men in this league.

The only decisions for the closing lineups will be which players to put around those three. With the versatility already displayed, it should be really easy to play winning basketball down the stretch.

Let’s take a look at three potential closing lineups for the Cavs during the 2022-23 season.