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The Cleveland Cavaliers Have Been Named Finalists for a Number of NBA Awards

CLEVELAND — Despite a sad loss in the play-in tournament, the Cavaliers took a big step forward in the 2021-22 season, finishing with a 44-38 record, their first winning record in four years.

While Cleveland will not be in the playoffs this season, the NBA is still paying attention to the team’s accomplishments, as three players were nominated for various league awards on Sunday.

The first is Evan Mobley, a rookie center competing for Rookie of the Year. At barely 20 years old, Mobley, the No. 3 overall choice in the 2021 draft, averaged 15.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game to establish himself as one of the NBA’s brightest young stars. He was joined by fellow finalists Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons and Scottie Barnes of the Toronto Raptors in leading all first-year players in boards.

 Kevin Love, a power forward, is nominated for Sixth Man of the Year, capping an unlikely career comeback for the 33-year-old. After several season-ending injuries, the lone survivor of the Cavs’ 2016 NBA championship team led the team with 74 games, averaging 13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Tyler Herro of the Miami Heat and Cam Johnson of the Phoenix Suns have been nominated.

Finally, Darius Garland, who went from up-and-coming point guard to bona fide game-breaker, is a finalist for Most Improved Player. Garland, who is still only 22, was nominated for his first NBA All-Star Game, hosted at Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, and finished in the top 20 for both points (21.7) and assists (8.6) per game. The other contenders are the Memphis Grizzles’ Ja Morant and the San Antonio Spurs’ DeJounte Murray.

 Two Cavaliers have won Rookie of the Year awards, LeBron James in 2003 and Kyrie Irving in 2011; however, no Cavalier has ever won Sixth Man of the Year or Most Improved Player. Throughout the NBA Playoffs, winners will be announced.


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