Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard Darius Garland has made a bold prediction ahead of the 2022-23 NBA season – that his team will make it as far as the Eastern Conference finals.
The 22-year-old made an appearance on the Varsity House podcast earlier this week and predicted that his Cleveland Cavaliers will reach the Eastern Conference finals in the playoffs next season.
— Varsity House Podcast (@varsityhousepod) July 21, 2022
In the 2021-22 campaign, the Cavs bowed out in the play-in tournament after losing to both the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks thanks to spirited performances from the likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Trae Young.
Key players Collin Sexton and All-Star Jarrett Allen both missed a large chunk of the season through injury, and the Cavs weren’t able to reach their full potential under 43-year-old head coach J.B. Bickerstaff.
The Cleveland side have undoubtedly one of the most promising young cores in the NBA, featuring 21-year-old Evan Mobley who set the league alight last season as a rookie – with many comparisons drawn between Mobley and all-time great Kevin Durant due to a similar build and style.
Caris LeVert, Lauri Markkanen, Ricky Rubio, and Kevin Love are all valuable rotation players who can offer solid minutes in the playoffs, but it still feels like the Cavs are missing an extra piece to push them to a conference finals appearance.
All will be revealed as the 2022-23 NBA begins in October later this year, with a handful of teams throughout the league playing with a chip on their shoulder and a point to prove in the playoffs when the lights are brightest.