Analyzing the Cleveland Cavaliers Summer League Playoffs

Luke Travers, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)
Luke Travers, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports) /

As of now, the Cleveland Cavaliers are the first seed in the Las Vegas Summer League, and have clinched a playoff spot. The semifinals will be played on Sunday, in which the Cavaliers will face the Brooklyn Nets at 4 PM on ESPN, while the championship game will be held the next day.

The Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz are also going to be in the playoffs, as both Houston and Utah went 4-0 in the Summer League. They are the only teams to be undefeated in the Summer League, which is impressive for Cleveland, considering they don’t even have a single first-round draft pick on their roster, unlike Utah and Houston.

The Nets are also slated to be playoffs, as they went 3-1, but also had the best point differential for a team that only lost one game. Speaking of point differential, the Cavaliers had the best plus-minus for a team in the whole Summer League, at plus-13.5, while the second place Rockets were at plus-10.7

Cleveland being the top is very good news. Funnily enough, Brooklyn’s the fourth seed, and their only loss of the Summer League came against, you guessed it, Cleveland. On July 7, the Cavaliers got their first win of the Summer League, and beat Brooklyn 101-97. That game was the Sharife Cooper show, as he had 27 points on eight-of-12 from the field and two-of-four from three-point range. Not to mention, he was nine-of-11 from the free throw line, drawing fouls and getting extra points with ease.

The Cavaliers almost lost that game, as they were not leading going into the fourth quarter. The Cavs had to mount a 34-26 fourth quarter run to be able to win the game, as in the third quarter, the Nets came storming in with a 33-15 quarter.

Cleveland has a good shot of winning the whole Summer League, as they’ve beaten two teams by 23 points, as the Raptors lost 99-76, and Memphis lost 100-77, both against Cleveland. Cleveland’s team does have a lot of starpower, even though it may not have the top-tier players and most recognizable names on the roster.

The Cavaliers have had a terrific run in Summer League, and have a great chance of winning the tourney.

If the Cavaliers can replicate a win against Brooklyn like they did in their first game, that would send them to the Summer League Finals. It seems that Houston has a good chance of beating Utah. Houston’s team consists of 2023 All-Rookie Second team players in Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Eason, as well as the recent fourth overall pick Amen Thompson, as well as the 20th pick, Cam Whitmore. However, Thompson will be shut down for the remainder of the Summer League, as he sprained his ankle earlier in the Summer League.

When it comes to Brooklyn’s team, they have the recent 21st and 22nd picks, Noah Clowney and Dariq Whitehead. Although, much like Thompson, Whitehead won’t play, and hasn’t played at all in the Summer League, as he is undergoing foot surgery.

As for Utah’s roster, they have the recent 9th overall pick, Taylor Hendricks, as well as former Cavs draft pick Ochai Agbaji. They also have the recent 16th and 28th pick, in Keyontae George and Brice Sensabaugh.

As was previously mentioned, Cleveland has a good chance of winning the whole Summer League playoffs, which would be nice, considering they’ve never won the championship in the Summer League before.

Next. Projecting the Cavaliers bench unit after new free agency additions. dark

The competition is not easy, but the Cavaliers should be prepared for what’s next, and should play a heck of a game on Sunday.