Darius Garland says he still hasn’t processed the Cavs’ collapse this season

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ pursuit of a playoff appearance this year fell short after a late-season collapse.

Cavs starting point guard Darius Garland apparently took the disappointing end to the season hard. He recently stated that he had to step away from the game for a “little bit” and did not even watch the first round of the playoffs.

“Garland said he hasn’t yet processed the Cavs’ second-half collapse, which led to an earlier-than-expected ending,” Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com wrote. “He didn’t even watch the first round of the playoffs.”

Garland explained his feelings.

“Just started watching in the second round,” Garland said. “It was tough. I had to regroup and get away from the game for a little bit.”

For members and fans of the Cavs organization, missing the playoffs this season was certainly a bitter pill to swallow. Cleveland was looking like one of the top teams in the East in the early stages of the 2021-22 campaign. Unfortunately, it experienced a rough stretch to end the season.

In the months of March and April, the team went a combined 8-13. It finished with a 44-38 record and earned a berth in the play-in tournament. As the No. 8 seed, it had two chances to reach the playoffs. However, Cleveland lost to the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks.

The loss to the Hawks was a heartbreaker, as the Cavs held a 10-point lead at halftime. Hawks star Trae Young went off in the second half, scoring 32 of his 38 points after halftime to help lead Atlanta to a 107-101 win on the road.

Cleveland may have missed the playoffs for the fourth year in a row, but the future looks bright for the franchise. This season, it earned a winning record for the first time since LeBron James left in the 2018 offseason. In addition, Garland earned an All-Star nod and finished third in voting for the Most Improved Player award.

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Orel is a freelance writer who is passionate about the NBA. He has followed the league since the late '90s and found increased interest in it in 2003 – when an 18-year-old prodigy from Akron, Ohio took the league by storm.