The Cleveland Cavaliers entered the 2023 NBA playoffs with high hopes. And why shouldn’t they have? They won 50 games in the regular season, as Darius Garland and company notched the Cavs’ first playoff berth in the post-LeBron James era. However, the sweetness of their success quickly turned to bitterness as they flamed out of the playoffs in five games to the lower-seeded New York Knicks.
It simply was a nightmare showing for the Cavs as the Knicks thoroughly outplayed them on both sides of the ball. And for a team that showed so much promise throughout the 2022-23 season, the way their season ended was extremely disappointing — with perhaps no one more dejected by what happened to their campaign than Garland himself.
Speaking with Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, Darius Garland revealed just how long it took for him not feel the painful sting of the Cavs’ heartbreaking playoff defeat at the hands of the Knicks.
“It took a couple weeks. Probably until the second round. Probably until they lost,” Garland said.
Even then, as the great Giannis Antetokounmpo once said, failures aren’t failures, they’re only steps to success. And Darius Garland certainly appears to have taken that to heart, as the Cavs floor general is looking back at how they fell short against the Knicks to ensure that he learns from their mistakes.
“We didn’t play our best throughout the entire series. […] Those were a couple things that stuck with me. I’ve been watching a lot of film of it this summer. Just trying to find ways to improve for next year,” Garland added.
The Cavs are a young team, so it stands to reason that Darius Garland and company will be back with greater mental fortitude as they try to improve upon last year’s finish.