Former NBA Coach of the Year says the Cavs ‘check every box’ of a title team ‘except for experience’

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers entered the 2022-23 campaign with title aspirations after they upgraded their roster by adding three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell.

The team also has a believer in Sam Mitchell, a former NBA coach. He recently expressed admiration for the 2022-23 Cavs, stating that they “check every box of a championship team except for experience.”

“They’re talented enough,” Sam Mitchell said. “They’re good enough. They check every box of a championship team except for experience. And I think experience sometimes is overrated. I really do. But they check every box.”

Those are certainly high praises from the coach who took home the 2007 NBA Coach of the Year award. After putting together an NBA career that lasted 13 seasons as a player and six as a head coach, Sam Mitchell has likely seen what factors come into play for a team to have a chance at winning a title.

The 59-year-old also explained the Cavs’ strengths that can help them contend this season.

“They got length, athleticism,” Sam Mitchell continued. “They got All-Stars. They got defense, rebounding, shot-blocking. They bring everything to the table except for experience.”

In the 2021-22 season, Cleveland nearly had the opportunity to participate in the playoffs to try to make a run at the championship. The Cavs finished the regular season with a 44-38 standing that gave them a berth in the play-in tournament.

Unfortunately, the team lost to the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks, resulting in its elimination from the postseason.

This past offseason saw the organization make a stunning trade for Donovan Mitchell in one of the biggest moves in franchise history.

The former Utah Jazz guard is seen as a player that can take the Cavs to the next level. He has performed well in his previous playoff appearances, averaging 28.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists per contest in his postseason career.

The Cavs also have a potent frontcourt that includes Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley.

Allen is one of the top defensive centers in the league today. So far this season, he’s averaging 13.2 points, 11.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. He earned his first All-Star berth last season.

As for Mobley, he is a promising two-way force who nearly won the Rookie of the Year award last season, when he recorded 15.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per contest.

Cavs fans are certainly hopeful that the team can make a return to the playoffs this season after a lengthy absence.

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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.