The Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2021-22 campaign is off to an exciting start, and optimism seems to be building amongst fans and folks within the organization.
Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff certainly seems excited. Speaking of the team’s unique starting lineup, he explained that the trio of Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen and Lauri Markkanen is “not even close to the surface” of what he believes it can accomplish.
“Sometimes you get your moments to think about the long term and if these three guys are together for a long time, they have an opportunity to be really, really good for a really long time,” Bickerstaff said of the trio. “We’re not even close to the surface of it yet and I think that’s where it’s exciting. We have to do whatever we have to do right now to make them better tomorrow. Because we will never get to three years together, five years together, if we’re not focusing on how we get them better right now. We have to grow this, bring their unique mix together and see how well it all fits. The talent is there. It’s going to be the combination of the fits and how we execute that that’s going to make the difference.”
The Cavs have been rolling with a massive lineup in the early stages of the season, and the returns have actually been quite good.
Markkanen, who is a 7-footer, is an unusual fit at the 3, but he appears to be getting acclimated. He has spent the majority of his time at the small forward position this season.
Over his last three games, he’s averaging 16.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest.
As for Mobley and Allen, both players have been dominant pieces in Cleveland’s frontcourt. Cleveland appears to have found a diamond in the rough in Allen, and Mobley looks like a generational talent in the eyes of many.
Bickerstaff and the Cavs deserve a lot of credit for getting creative with their lineup. The team is 4-4 on the young season, which seems like a big win considering the low expectations many folks had for the team going into the campaign.