Can the Cavaliers be trusted in the playoffs? | Good Word with Goodwill

Yahoo Sports senior NBA writer Vincent Goodwill looks at Cleveland's run this season and how the injuries to multiple stars - including Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell - affects the team's outlook for the postseason. Hear the full conversation on “Good Word with Goodwill” - part of the “Ball Don’t Lie” podcast - and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript

- One of the most confounding teams in the Eastern Conference, probably the most confounding, even more than the Bucks, is the Cleveland Cavaliers. Like they've had that stretch where they dominated the league and ran roughshod through. 17 an 1 from January to mid February, right before the All-Star break. And Donovan Mitchell elevated himself to MVP discussion, but they were without Darius Garland and Evan Mobley for a huge part of that. I think they only played like 7 games in that 18 game stretch.

But as a whole, they're sitting in that third spot. After that 17 and 1 stretch, if the math is correct, they're 29 and 29 for the rest of the season. It's hard to place this team in proper context because you don't know how you're going to figure things out with Mobley and with Darius Garland. And Mobley and Jarrett Allen, because they're more light in the pants. Mobley and Jarrett Allen are really good rebounders, but they're so light, you wonder if teams are going to be able to handle them, manhandle them. Then you have Donovan Mitchell, who was playing MVP ball when they were without Mobley and Garland.

He probably would have been All NBA this year, but he wanted to missing that chunk of games, because of the knee and the PRP injection. And now he's trying to come back and get it back. The Cavs are just so interesting to me. It's just one of those teams in the East that you look at and you're saying, which one are you? Which team are you? If the Cavs go 6 and 2 the rest of the way, or 4 and 2 rather, excuse me, they're going to have another 50-win season.

That's a rousing success when you consider the games that Donovan has missed, the games that Evan Mobley has missed, the games that Garland has missed. Like it's just one of those things where you're much better equipped for playoff basketball this year than you were this time last year.