5 Flaws that could crush Cleveland Cavaliers' playoff hopes

The Cavaliers could make a second straight early playoff exit if they cannot find ways to address these shortcomings.

Cleveland Cavaliers, Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland
Cleveland Cavaliers, Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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3. Undersized backcourt

The Cavaliers have an All-Star duo in their backcourt. Their talent is unquestionable, but can Cleveland win a championship with a 6’1 point guard and a 6’3 shooting guard? This narrative is nothing new. Many were asking the question when the Cavs traded for Donovan Mitchell in 2022. It only got louder (subscription required) after the franchise excelled with Darius Garland sidelined earlier this season.

Mitchell is an elite scorer who has netted 30-plus in 20 of his 45 career playoff contests. He will raise his game in the postseason, but have the Cavaliers built a roster around him to contend for a title?

Who guards Tyrese Haliburton, Jalen Brunson, Damian Lillard, or Tyrese Maxey? Those are just some of the point guards Cleveland will face if they make a deep postseason run. The Cavs cannot hide both Mitchell and Garland on lesser threats. Isaac Okoro, Evan Mobley, or Max Strus will likely take on the opposition’s top scorer, but that often leaves a ball-handler for one of the Cavaliers stars in the backcourt.

The Blazers made the conference finals with Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Trae Young lifted the Hawks to the conference finals in 2021. Winning it all is another mountain to climb, but the Cavs can make a deep run. They need several things to fall into place, including one that has not been in their favor this season.