Here’s something you didn’t expect to read in January of 2022: the Cleveland Cavaliers have a legitimate shot at winning the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
The Cavs are having something of a Cinderella season – they’ve been on fire since the year began and have consistently had magical moments and amazing games where they exceeded expectations and silenced the haters.
They are currently the fourth team in the East, with a record of 27-18.
What a difference less than a year makes: they ended last season at 22-50 as the 13th team in the Eastern Conference.
There is a lot of competition and there are many hurdles to pass but there is also a true, undeniable chance for the Cavs this year.
Do they have what it takes to make it to the NBA Finals?
With continued passion and a bit of luck, the answer is yes.
The Story So Far
This hasn’t been a breakout season for just one player on the Cavs.
Instead, this year has been a coming-out event for multiple guys on the Cleveland roster.
Darius Garland is lighting up the court, Evan Mobley is in the running for Rookie of the Year, Jarrett Allen is landing more than 10 rebounds a game, and others like Lauri Markkanen are lining their highlight reels with incredible plays.
Year 3 📈
RETWEET to send @dariusgarland22 to #NBAAllStar! pic.twitter.com/QOHofbechU
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) January 19, 2022
Even Kevin Love, who had been written off by the rest of the NBA, is finding success with this Cavs team.
The key to success is that they’re playing like a team that needs to win.
They are well aware of the fact that they started the season as underdogs and they have embraced it.
They are playing like they have something to prove and that’s a recipe for victory.
Speed, smarts, teamwork – they’re all coming together to create a Cavaliers team with heart and soul in every victory.
And this sort of enthusiasm and skill has led to some amazing wins.
On Monday, the team found its fifth win in a row – against the Brooklyn Nets no less.
🎒 @dariusgarland22 was in his BAG as the @cavs win their 5th straight game! #LetEmKnow
🔥 22 PTS | 6 REB | 12 AST | 2 STL pic.twitter.com/OpccAWKJ9J
— NBA (@NBA) January 18, 2022
Previously in the season, they’ve also taken down the Utah Jazz, champion Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat (twice), and Chicago Bulls.
These are all tough teams, and a couple of them will need to be taken down in the postseason if the Cavs hope to make it to the NBA Finals.
A Little Luck
We are reaching the point in the season where certain teams that are considered sure things hit their rough patches.
You can see it with the Nets and their loss of Kevin Durant or the Bulls and their recent series of losses.
You can also see in the West with the Golden State Warriors performing with problems.
This is the time of year when the Cavs can make some serious ground and further strengthen their standing in the Eastern Conference.
Cleveland could be entering a postseason where many of these teams could be weakened and tired from a brutal regular season.
And they could take advantage of that and actually slide past a few of them on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals.
You can’t deny the success the Cavs are having and you can’t ignore their chances of going all the way this year.
No one thought it was possible just a few months ago but the Cavaliers are an honest-to-goodness threat to the rest of the East – and the rest of the NBA too.NEXT: 2 Cavaliers Who Deserve All-Star Recognition