Darius Garland explains why it hurt so much that the Cavs didn’t make the playoffs this season

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Despite having a phenomenal 2021-22 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers were unable to make it to the NBA playoffs, as they lost both of their games in the league’s play-in tournament.

At the start of the season, many didn’t believe that the Cavs would come close to the playoffs. However, as the season went on, the team began to show that it was capable of making it there.

Injuries ended up being a big reason why the squad fell out of the playoff picture and wound up having to play in the play-in.

Darius Garland, who enjoyed a breakout campaign and was named an All-Star for the first time in his career, was one of the players who missed some time due to injury. He recently explained why it hurt so much that the Cavs were unable to make the playoffs.

“It was getting that experience and I didn’t want the season to end,” Garland told GQ‘s Tyler R. Tynes. “Being there, feeling the playoff experience, that atmosphere with the whole city behind you, you could barely hear in the arena. It was lit the whole time, in Brooklyn [and in] the second game against Atlanta at home. That was probably the most intense basketball I’ve ever had in my life. So it was cool having that experience, but I definitely want to get into the playoffs.”

In the 2021-22 regular season, the 22-year-old averaged 21.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 8.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from beyond the arc. The Vanderbilt University product was one of the finalists for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award, which wound up going to Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant.

After such an exciting campaign, Garland and the Cavs are hoping that they can secure a playoff spot during the 2022-23 season.

The upcoming offseason is certainly a pivotal one for the Cavs, and the future is definitely bright in Cleveland.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate who is proud to be a contributor of Cavaliers Nation. He is an avid NBA fan.