Cleveland Cavaliers Season Preview: Can Darius Garland And Collin Sexton Get Into The Play-In Mix?

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There are no expectations of a title run or even a deep playoff run, but the Cleveland Cavaliers want to take a step forward.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 06: Evan Mobley #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks against Jalen ... [+] Johnson #1 of the Atlanta Hawks during the first half at State Farm Arena on October 06, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers want to take a step forward. Behind Darius Garland, top pick Evan Mobley, Collin Sexton and a few other younger pieces, Cleveland wants to be better now. There are no expectations of a title run or even a deep playoff run, but they hope to be at least in the play-in tournament at season's end.

But are they capable of going from one of the league's worst teams to one of the best in the Eastern Conference? That's a hard question to answer.

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What's New

The Cavs' biggest offseason acquisition was Evan Mobley. The 7-footer was the team's first-round pick out of USC, and he factors into what the team is doing right now. Based on the preseason, he's going to start at power forward next to Jarrett Allen and get a chance to be a part of everything Cleveland is doing. Offensively, especially watch for him to get a chance to play-make and bring the ball up off of live rebounds.

Cleveland also brought in Ricky Rubio via trade, banking on him be the team's backup point guard and help stabilize the team's second unit. They also acquired power forward Lauri Markkanen, nabbing the 24-year-old from the Bulls in a three-team trade that sent Larry Nance Jr. to the Trail Blazers. He's not better than Nance, but Markkanen provides shooting at a higher level. Cleveland…
Chris Manning
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