Punxsutawney Phil makes weather prognostications every February and so will we do the same regarding the Cavs’ playoff fate. It’s February 15th and the All-Star break has commenced. In their final game before the break, the Cavs lost to the Philadelphia 76ers and their record is 38-23. In their last game, the Cavaliers got close but ultimately couldn’t overcome a 27-point deficit in the 3rd quarter before succumbing by a final score of 118-112.
Cleveland is currently occupying the 4th spot in the Eastern Conference. If they maintain that 4th spot entering the playoffs, they are guaranteed at least one series with home-court advantage. Ideally, the Cavs would like to climb even closer to that #1 seed in the East.
What will the Cavs’ seed be?
So, what will the Cavs’ playoff seed be after the final 21 games in the regular season? Well, after the All-Star break, the Cavs only play 4 games vs. the 1st,2nd, and 3rd seeds in the East. So, on paper, the Cavs don’t have an incredibly difficult end to the regular season.
I think the Cavs can nab the 3rd seed. The 2nd seed is possible but the current 2nd seed, the Milwaukee Bucks, are in great form and are currently on an 11-game winning streak. If Cleveland can figure out how to be more consistent in their away games, they will be a dangerous playoff team.
How far can the Cavs go?
Assuming the Cavs can secure the 3rd seed, or maybe even 2nd seed, how far can they go in the playoffs? This may be controversial, but I think they can get to the Eastern Conference Finals (ECF).
In my mind, the Cavs can beat the Bucks or the Celtics in a 7-game playoff series, but not both. I am erring on the side of optimism to assume they can beat either the Bucks or Celtics in the 2nd round of the playoffs and then lose in the ECF.
Set up for next year
Can the Cavs do even better next year?! Yes? There are just so many moving pieces and parts. Will Cleveland bring in reinforcements in the summer? Will their Eastern conference opponents weaken or strengthen? Will the Cavs be healthy when it counts?
I believe the Cavs management was hoping this year to make the playoffs and try to win a series or two. That would then set up a deep playoff run next year. Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen will all have had another year to get comfortable with each other’s playing styles which could mean a trip to the NBA Finals.
I miss when the Cavs made their seemingly annual run to the Finals and I can’t wait for those days to return. Am I too optimistic? Or will the Cavs romp and I am mentally holding them back? Let me know in the comments and always keep it civil. Need some gear for the Cavs’ inevitable playoff run? Check out our basketball-themed merchandise in our shop!
Want to read more about the Cavs?! Weigh in on our top 5 all-time Cavs players here!