Former Warriors coach declares ‘dangerous’ Cavs have everything it takes to ‘create problems for anybody’

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

NBA personality Mark Jackson doesn’t want the basketball world to overlook the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cavs are off to an impressive start in the 2024 NBA Playoffs, building a 2-0 series lead in the first round against the Orlando Magic. They’re now two victories away from winning their first playoff series since 2018.

When asked about the Cavs, Jackson listed several reasons why the team deserves respect.

“They have a home-run hitter in Donovan Mitchell,” Jackson began, addressing why the Cavs shouldn’t be overlooked. “They have a legit starting five. They have great depth. They have a big that is elite at defending, elite at setting screens, diving to the cup, finishing at the rim and rebounding. They have a young star in [Evan] Mobley.

“They are a talented basketball team that could’ve very well wound up as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Injuries all season long, they fought their way. It was a roller-coaster season, inconsistent at times, but they have everything that it takes to create problems for anybody. … That’s a legit basketball team that’s dangerous.”

Jackson stopped short of calling the Cavs threats to win the NBA Finals, but he clearly has respect for the squad.

Cleveland ruffled some feathers by perhaps manipulating the standings on the last day of the regular season in order to finish as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. By earning the No. 4 spot, the Cavs guaranteed themselves a matchup with the Magic and avoided the possibility of having to face a more experienced team in the first round.

Controversial or not, Cleveland’s fourth-place finish is paying dividends right now, as the team is having its way with Orlando. The Cavs held the Magic to 83 points in Game 1 and 86 points in Game 2 to build a 2-0 series lead.

If the squad finishes the job against Orlando, its reward will likely be a second-round matchup against the Boston Celtics. That series would be full of challenges for the Cavs, but one has to imagine that they’d welcome the opportunity.

For now, Cleveland needs to remain focused on its series against Orlando, as there’s still work to do. The next game between the two squads will take place on Thursday.

Realistically, the Magic need to get in the win column in Game 3 in order to keep the series interesting. They desperately need to close the gap to 2-1 heading into Game 4.

But the Cavs would love to get one step closer to shutting the door, and if they can take a 3-0 series lead, they’ll have to feel pretty good about their chances.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and is very excited about the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers.