Three goals for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
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Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

Goal No. 2: Finish in the top five of offensive and defensive rating

The past two seasons, the Cavs have finished fifth and first respectively in defensive rating. Their goal should be to finish in the top five once again.

Head Coach J.B. Bickerstaff has really gotten this team to buy in on the defensive end of the floor, and the team has developed their lauded junkyard dog mentality as a result. However, it all starts with their duo in the frontcourt featuring Mobley and Allen.

These guys are two of the best paint defenders in the NBA and also hold their own on the perimeter. I expect big things from them again, especially for Mobley, who made NBA All-Defensive First Team in just his second year. I believe he will win Defensive Player of the Year, continue to assert himself as one of the elite defenders in the NBA, and lead the Cavs to another top five finish in defensive rating.

As for the offense, the Cavs went from 20th to eighth last season, and they were led by Mitchell, who had his best offensive season as a pro. Pre-All-Star break last season, the Cavs were tied for fourth in offensive rating, before sliding to 13th after the break.

For 61 games, they were in the top five, and now that they have much needed shooting reinforcements with Strus and Niang, their offense is that much more dangerous. The goal should be to maintain that fourth place ranking they had for 61 games.

The Cavaliers no longer have to hope and pray when Isaac Okoro is in the corner wide open for a three. When Garland, and Mitchell drive and kick the ball out, they can rely on guys like Strus, Niang, and LeVert to knock the shot down.