Apr 17, 2024 - Sports

Cavs Corner, Week 25: Deep breaths!

A photo of the Cavs' Jarrett Allen (red jersey) grabbing an offensive rebound in a basketball game

Allen was a beast on the boards all year. Photo: Nick Cammett/Getty Images

It's the final edition of Cavs Corner for the 2023-24 season, and your Cleveland Cavaliers are playoff-bound.

  • The fourth-seed Cavs will take on the fifth-seed Orlando Magic in a first-round series that begins Saturday.

Record: (48-34); Last week: (46-33)

Weekly slate: Win vs. Memphis (110-98); Win vs. Indiana (129-120); Loss vs. Charlotte (120-110).

The big picture: The Cavs finished three games worse than in 2022-23, with looming questions that the playoffs should help answer.

  • Will Donovan Mitchell sign an extension and remain a Cavalier?
  • Can two lead guards (Mitchell and Darius Garland) and two non-shooting big men (Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen) co-exist on an elite team?

Between the lines: The roller coaster season was marked by one of the greatest 20 game stretches in franchise history, but also plagued by persistent lineup questions due to injuries, stunted player development and baffling coaching decisions.

✅ Season winner: Allen. A double-double machine, the Fro led the Cavs in minutes played and was the team's defensive anchor all year.

  • Honorable mention: Sam Merrill. The late bloomer established himself as an NBA rotation player with one of the quickest triggers in the league.

❎ Season loser: Garland. It was a rocky, injury-plagued season for the fifh-year guard, who never quite found his groove.

🗓️ Programming note: We'll publish a playoff preview Friday, with periodic updates as the postseason progresses.

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