Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers have gotten off to a bit of an up and down start to the 2023-24 NBA season. The Cavs currently sit with a decent enough record of 11-9, and Mitchell has continued to put up ridiculous scoring numbers on a seemingly nightly basis, consistently torching opposing defenses.

The Cavs are currently facing a gauntlet of an upcoming schedule that will feature games against the upstart Orlando Magic (twice), the Miami Heat, and the Boston Celtics, also twice. Recently, Cavs forward Isaac Okoro got one hundred percent honest on the difficult stretch and how Cleveland should approach the challenge.

“We have to show people that we are one of the contenders in the East or in the league,” said Okoro, per Chris Fedor of clevelanddotcom on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “These games coming up — Orlando, Miami and Boston — some of the top teams in the East right now, so beating them would be huge for us.”

The Cavs are looking to bounce back after last season’s embarrassing first round postseason exit at the hands of the New York Knicks. The Cavs enjoyed an upstart regular season a year ago, but both Mitchell and point guard Darius Garland flamed against the Knicks, putting pressure on the team to make a better showing in the playoffs this year.

The first order of business of course is to make the postseason, which will be perhaps more challenging than anticipated this season considering how deep the Eastern Conference has become.