Cleveland Sports: Are the Cleveland Cavaliers legitimate title contenders this year?



Mario Ghosn discusses his beliefs on Cleveland sports despite their reputation

Mario Ghosn, Staff Reporter

Cleveland sports teams normally produce a cornucopia of pain for those who dare to support them. Other than the legendary National Basketball Association Championship win in 2016 for the LeBron-led Cavaliers, the city has not seen much success from its professional sports teams. The Browns only made the playoffs three times since 1990, the Guardians have only made the World Series once since 1997, and the Cavaliers were only relevant when LeBron James was a part of the team. 

Although these teams had tremendous struggles in the past, a youth movement began in Cleveland, resulting in major improvements and the potential for a championship culture to emerge. Of the three major teams, the Cavaliers seem to be embracing this shift in culture the most. 

The Cavaliers began to breakout last season, finishing with a surprising 44-38 record, a considerable improvement from their 22-50 record the year prior. This improvement is attributed to Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen becoming All-Stars, as well as the rookie, Evan Mobley, being a finalist for Rookie Of The Year Award last season. 

Although they came up short and did not make the playoffs, their performance put the rest of the league on notice. The Cavaliers were beginning to create a new dynamic, one that did not involve relying on LeBron James. 

The high hopes of the Cleveland fan base grew even higher with the acquisition of Western Conference All-StarDonovan Mitchell, a former All-Star with the Utah Jazz. The trade for Mitchell was the biggest move of the summer and has already bore results this early in the season. 

After 10 games, the Cavaliers are sporting an 8-2 record, second to only the Milwaukee Bucks who hold a record of 9-1. The Cavs’ second-place standing is due to the chemistry and dedication of the players which has grown exponentially from last year. Many believed that Mitchell would need time to acclimate to his new surroundings, but not only has he fit in seamlessly, he also has thrived. He is in the top five of MVP voting so far, demonstrating how he has already emerged as the leader of this young Cavaliers team. 

The Cavaliers are quickly becoming the favorites to win the Eastern Conference and go on to the NBA Finals. If you are skeptical and refuse to take my word for it, you should take a trip downtown to see it with your own eyes. 

The Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse offers discounts for students who wish to come to home games. Click this link to receive affordable discounts in your email. All you have to do is input some basic information as well as your John Carroll email address. Grab a group of friends and go enjoy the great play and incredible atmosphere that comes with attending the games in person.