The Cleveland Cavaliers look like a real contender this season.
The team just smashed the Chicago Bulls by a final of 115-92 to improve to 14-12 on the season.
That is good enough for the sixth-best record in the East early in the season.
Basketball Reference has an ongoing list of playoff probabilities throughout the year and the Cavaliers’ name jumped off the page in a recent tweet featuring the odds.
Eastern Conference Playoffs Odds:
— Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) December 9, 2021
The Cavaliers have better playoff odds than the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks and so on.
But it goes beyond just that.
The probabilities also include odds to win the conference and the NBA Finals.
The Cavaliers are atop the East in both categories.
The Cavs Are Back
The Cavaliers are given a 19-percent chance to win the East.
The Bulls are next at 16 percent.
Then come the Finals odds.
The Cavaliers sit atop the East with 4.4-percent odds to win it all.
IN CONCLUSION, CAVS ARE BACK pic.twitter.com/YCX9txliOk
— Beat Baltimore FFS (6-6) (@sabalabading) December 9, 2021
That figure is low because the Golden State Warriors lead the NBA at 50 percent.
The Phoenix Suns come in at 23.8 percent, which means those two teams dominate the odds for now.
Cleveland is proving they can win without LeBron James for the first time since a few years before he first arrived.
No. 3 overall pick Evan Mobley has been a key contributor right away and already looks like a seasoned veteran.
Winning is the best cure for any problems in the NBA and the Cavaliers are changing their entire culture with a great start to the season.
The East lacking one dominant team, or two like in the West, also means the Cavs truly can win on any given night against a conference foe.
If the odds tell the story, the Cavaliers may even be set up for a Finals rematch with the Warriors next summer.