Cavaliers Well Represented Among NBA Award Finalists

While the Cavaliers didn’t advance into the postseason, the team could very well walk away with some hardware during the postseason as three players were named finalists on Sunday for some of the NBA’s Awards.

Evan Mobley, Kevin Love, and Darius Garland were named finalists for Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, and Most Improved Player respectively and the winner of those awards among the rest of the NBA Awards will be announced throughout the NBA Playoffs.

Mobley has been the front runner to win Rookie of the Year for the majority of this season and with good reason. The third overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft averaged 15 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 blocks per game in 69 games this season.

Both Scottie Barnes and Cade Cunningham put up strong efforts during the second half of the season but Mobley was more consistent and elevated his team more than the others despite Barnes’ team, the Toronto Raptors making the playoffs.

Kevin Love transitioned to his role off the bench in a major way being the Cavaliers best threat off the bench throughout the season averaging 13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 39.2% from three-point distance in 74 games played.

The frontrunner for this award however is Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro who averaged 20.7 points along with 5 rebounds and 4 assists per game off the bench and shot 39.9% from three-point distance.

Darius Garland took a big jump in 2021-22 going from 17.4 points and 6.1 assists in 2020-21 to 21.7 points and 8.6 assists this season while also making his first All-Star appearance. After the All-Star break, Garland broke out even bigger averaging 24.8 points and 10 assists per game. Cleveland doubling their win total from 22 to 44 in a year should help make his case even stronger in the voting.

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant is the frontrunner for this award despite playing in only 57 games. Morant took a big jump in scoring from 19.1 points per game last season to 27.4 points per game this season and his team took a big jump also going from 38 wins to 56 and being the second seed in the Western Conference.

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