Examining ESPN’s 2023-24 season prediction for the Cleveland Cavaliers

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images /

The Cleveland Cavaliers look to have their best roster that they’ve had in years, and have a good chance to be one of the best teams in the whole NBA. In the Eastern Conference, the path to the NBA Finals for the 2023-24 season looks somewhat wide open, as there are a few teams that have a chance to make it to the NBA Finals.

The Cavs are a peculiar team, though. Their roster is great, there’s no denying that. But considering their lack of playoff success as a team, it might be difficult to have them in the upper echelon of NBA teams. Even though they were the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference last season, as well as improving their roster, it still isn’t set in stone that Cleveland will be a true title contender.

When it comes to the playoffs, Cleveland still has a bit to work on. As for the regular season, the Cavs should have an impressive regular season record. Having home court advantage in the playoffs is the bar that they have set for themselves, so being a top four seed in the Eastern Conference should be their goal at minimum.

ESPN’s NBA staff believes that the Cleveland Cavaliers will have a great season next year, as they have the Cavs ranked third overall in the Eastern Conference, as well as winning 50 games. Last season, the Cavs won 51 games, which still was a really good record.

50 wins is not something to sneeze at. With the NBA being the most competitive it has been in years, 50 wins could definitely earn a near-top seed in either conference. With the NBA being as close as it is in talent, it might be difficult for any team to win over 60 games, as last season, the highest win total was 58 wins by the Milwaukee Bucks.

ESPN is high on the Cavaliers, and predicts them to finish third in the East. This is a talented Cleveland team, but they have a lot to prove come playoff time.

Why wouldn’t the Cavs be a great team next year? Their acquisitions this offseason really helped in making their weaknesses better, as well as doubling down on their strong suits. Max Strus, the Cavs’ biggest move this offseason, fits in perfectly with the Cavs current roster. Georges Niang, another one of the Cavs’ signings, looks to be a great 3-point shooter for them, as well as a terrific catch-and-shoot option.

The 3-point shooting on this Cavaliers’ team will be a lot better than their 3-point shooting last season, as they ranked 12th in 3-point percentage at 36.7 percent. When it comes to 3-pointers attempted, the Cavs ranked 24th overall, only shooting 31.6 shots from beyond the arc last year. With the new acquisitions, both of those stats should be higher next season.

Being a top three seed in the East isn’t something to be taken lightly. In the 2021 NBA Finals, the Bucks won the NBA title after being the third seed. The Golden State Warriors won the 2022 NBA championship after being the third seed that year, as well. If the Cavs are truly a top seed in the Eastern Conference, as well as being one of the best teams in the whole NBA, we might have to start recognizing them as a real contender to win the NBA Finals.

The Bucks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, and Miami Heat all have compelling cases to be a top seed in the East. The East, as well as the NBA as a whole, might be really competitive this season, and there is no clear-cut team that is miles above the rest when it comes to talent. The Cavaliers do have a great chance to make a deep playoff push, and can be a contender.

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There still is a while before the regular season starts in late October. Until the Cleveland Cavaliers start playing actual games, we won’t know how good they’ll actually be, and if they can actually be a top three seed in the East like ESPN predicts.