Giannis Antetokounmpo sends stern warning to rest of league about title-contending Cavs

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Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo offered a warning to other NBA teams about just how improved the Cleveland Cavaliers are this season.

Antetokounmpo offered his thoughts in the wake of the Cavaliers’ 115-99 Wednesday night victory over the defending NBA champion Bucks.

“This is not the Cleveland we knew in the past years,” reigning Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo said following the Cavaliers’ 115-99 statement win Wednesday night. “They’re a good team. They have a better record than us right now. It’s a team that we’ve got to be careful, we’ve got to scout better and make sure we respect them even more now. They’re a playoff team and they’re fighting for the title themselves.”

In truth, all NBA teams have become aware of how improved the Cavaliers are this season. That improvement comes after three straight miserable campaigns in which the Cavs won a combined 60 games over that span.

With the victory over the Bucks, the Cavaliers improved to 30-19 on the season, which is the third-best record among all Eastern Conference teams.

Such a run of success was likely dismissed prior to the start of the season, given the recent woeful campaigns by the Cavaliers.

A number of factors have been the key to the Cavaliers’ improvement, including the emergence of third-year guard Darius Garland. The Cavs have been patiently waiting for Garland to make an impact since they selected him with the fifth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Yet, other players such as top rookie Evan Mobley and last year’s acquisition, Jarrett Allen, have also made their mark on the court for the Cavaliers.

While the NBA postseason is still far off, the momentum of the Cavaliers continues to build toward making their presence felt once the playoffs arrive. It remains to be seen how deep a playoff run they might make, considering their relatively youthful roster.

Until that occurs, the Cavaliers will simply focus on the present, with a road game Sunday against the Detroit Pistons next on the schedule.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.