Looking at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ strength of schedule in 2023-24

Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

When it comes to the strength of schedules in the NBA, it means a lot. Statistically, having an easier schedule is a great way to have an easier path to the NBA playoffs. On the other side, having a stronger schedule could be like fighting an uphill battle, trying harder to get into the playoffs in general. As for the Cleveland Cavaliers, their schedule for the 2023-24 NBA season looks easier than most.

Statistics show that the Cavaliers will have an easy schedule next season, as they statistically have the fourth-easiest schedule in the whole NBA, according to Positive Residual. As for the 2022-23 NBA season, the Cleveland Cavaliers were given the sixth-easiest schedule. The Cavs really don’t have a lot of stretches of tough teams to face, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll be powering through teams. The easiness of schedules aren’t everything.

The only teams that have an easier schedule are the Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, and Boston Celtics. Denver and Boston are considered championship contenders, while the Jazz are still probably going to be a lottery team once again.

Yes, a team’s strength of schedule does not necessarily mean that they’ll be a great team in the regular season. Likewise, a harder schedule does not mean that the team will be a lottery team. Strength of schedule isn’t the end all be all, but it sure does help.

The Cavaliers have a forgiving schedule in 2023-24 at first glance, however, that’s not everything. They’ll have to prove they’re ready to contend.

The NBA’s strength of schedule for all teams are calculated, and are determined by who they are facing, where they are playing, rest, and altitude. For example, a team like the Jazz have a pretty high altitude compared to almost all of the NBA. Playing against Utah would definitely be more challenging than a team like the Miami Heat in that sense, who are basically at sea level.

Last season, the Nuggets had the easiest schedule. Coincidentally, the Nuggets also won the 2023 NBA Championship. Is it a coincidence? Well, probably not, but it’s also safe to assume that if Denver had a harder schedule, they’d still be NBA champions.

On the flip side, the 2022 NBA Champions, the Golden State Warriors, had the 19th-easiest schedule in the 2021-22 NBA season, but still were crowned champions. Point being, strength of schedule isn’t the sole determining factor in what makes any team a great regular season team, and probably doesn’t have a huge part in it, either. Great NBA teams are successful facing good or bad teams.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the best teams, and should have a really impressive 2023-24 NBA season. With the NBA giving them one of the easiest schedules, they should be all the more successful in the regular season.

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The Cavs might have been gifted an easier schedule, but that won’t matter to the Cavs themselves. They’re going to want to go in every night and win, no matter who they face.