The Cleveland Cavaliers enjoyed a resurgent 2022-23 campaign to end a four-year playoff drought. The 51-win season — the first 50-win campaign since LeBron James’ final year in Cleveland in 2017-18 — coincided with the arrival of Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz. Mitchell helped usher in a new era of Cavaliers basketball as he secured his fourth All-Star nod, averaging a career-high 28.3 points and earning a spot on the All-NBA Second Team. Mitchell also matched his career-high with 1.5 steals per game while setting personal-bests in field goal, free throw and 3-point percentages. While their offense was solid and rated ninth in the league, it was the Cavs’ defense that set this team apart as they ranked first in the league in both defensive rating and opponent points per game. In just his second season, Evan Mobley was selected to the All-Defensive First Team, becoming the second-youngest player in league history to earn the honor after ranking first in defensive win shares and sixth in total blocks. Darius Garland followed up his first All-Star season with another strong showing in year four, averaging 21.6 points and 7.8 assists while shooting a career-best 41 percent from downtown. The Cavs were eliminated by the New York Knicks in five games in the first round of the playoffs, leaving the team something to build heading into the next season.
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