3 reasons the Cavaliers will take a big step forward in the 2022-23 season

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Cavaliers were one of the best stories of the 2021-22 NBA season.

Early in the season, few people outside of Cleveland gave the team a chance to make some noise in the Eastern Conference, but the Cavs certainly proved the doubters wrong.

Although injuries ultimately threw a wrench into the team’s special year and caused it to end in the play-in tournament, Cleveland was one of the most exciting teams in the league when it was in good health.

Will the 2022-23 season be even more special for the Cavs?

That certainly seems like a distinct possibility.

Here’s why.

3. No lack of motivation

As mentioned, the Cavs saw their 2021-22 season end in the play-in tournament.

The club was certainly aiming to qualify for the playoffs, but injuries ripped that goal away.

For a time, it looked like Cleveland was a lock on making the playoffs, and some fans thought the team even had a chance to gain home-court advantage in a potential first-round series.

But after going 35-21 on Feb. 11, the Cavs have lost 17 of their last 26 regular season games, landing them in the play-in.

There they had two chances to win a game and make the playoffs, but they lost to the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks and were eliminated.

Obviously, it was a heartbreaking collapse.

But that type of setback often makes a team more eager to get the job done the following season, and given the culture JB Bickerstaff has created in Cleveland, it seems certain the Cavs will be eager to do just that.

2. Another year of development

The Cavs are a very young team.

Darius Garland, 22, earned his first All-Star selection last season, as did Jarrett Allen, 24.

Evan Mobley, meanwhile, had a stellar rookie season and just turned 21.

All of these players still have plenty of room to improve and they probably have their best basketball ahead of them.

It is very possible that all three players will take giant steps in the 2022-23 season and further solidify themselves as young stars.

Mobley in particular looks set to jump into its second season.

If that happens, the league will have a problem on its hands, as the Cavs should have the entire Garland-Allen-Mobley trio on their roster for years to come.

1. No more injury bug (hopefully)

The Cavs’ injury luck has got to improve in the 2022-23 season, right?

After all, it’s even hard to imagine how the injury bug could possibly hit Cleveland harder than it did in the 2021-22 campaign.

The team lost Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio to season-ending injuries.

Caris LeVert missed a few key games for the Cavs after being traded to them in February.

Jarrett Allen missed the final 18 games of the regular season, which played a key role in the team’s collapse.

And some other key players also ran out of time at times.

It was a perfect storm, and it certainly won’t happen again.

If the injury bug doesn’t bother you, the Cavs will likely be a very fun team to watch in the 2022-23 season.

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