The Cleveland Cavaliers were one of the biggest surprises during the 2021-22 season. They spent the early portion of the season among the top teams in the Eastern Conference, before injuries eventually took their toll on the team, causing them to flame out in the Play-In Tournament. According to Lauri Markkanen, if it weren’t for those injuries, the Cavs could have made some noise in the 2022 NBA playoffs.

Markkanen was a big reason for the Cavaliers success last season. He played as a tall-ball small forward for Cleveland, and he had great success playing alongside Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley in the Cavs frontcourt. Despite being seven feet tall, Markkanen has the versatility to guard multiple positions, and the move to small forward helped Markkanen make more of an impact on defense.

Unfortunately, injuries derailed Cleveland’s season, and sent them into the offseason hoping for better luck when it came to injuries. When asked about Cleveland’s previous season, Markkanen said he believes that the Cavs could have gone on a deep run in the postseason, which certainly caught some attention from NBA fans everywhere.

Whether or not you agree with Markkanen’s take, it’s clear the Cavs were dealt some bad luck when it came to injuries last season, and they could benefit from a full season of health from some of their top players. Getting Colin Sexton back in free agency would certainly help, but his status doesn’t appear close to being resolved.

Either way, the Cavaliers have a solid base to build off of when it comes to the 2022-23 season, and it’s clear that they are looking to make some noise in the playoffs after flaming out last season. If they can stay healthy, it will be interesting to see what Lauri Markkanen and his teammates are capable of.