Despite the absence of Donovan Mitchell and Max Strus on Monday, the Cleveland Cavaliers prevailed with a 108-103 victory over the Indiana Pacers. The team was led by center Jarrett Allen and guard Caris LeVert, who was inserted into the starting lineup of a depleted Cleveland team. Both scored 23 apiece to spearhead the Cavs’ offense.

LeVert in particular, had a near-triple-double, adding 11 points and eight rebounds to his name. His performance drew praise from his teammates, particularly Tristan Thompson.

After the game, Cavs forward Georges Niang was making his case for LeVert being the Sixth Man of the Year when Thompson grabbed the microphone and emphasized the message:

“Gotta start the campaign,” Thompson said, per’s Chris Fedor. “We don’t reward teams that are in 7th place. We don’t reward guys who start. Caris LeVert for 6th Man. For real. Start pushing it.”

Caris LeVert’s current season with the Cavs

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Caris LeVert (3) holds the ball while Indiana Pacers guard T.J. McConnell (9) defends in the first half at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

This season, LeVert is averaging 14.0 points, 5.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. The guard’s name is actually in discussions for the said award. Based on the odds, LeVert is a Sixth Man of the Year contender alongside names such as Malik Monk (current favorite), Norman Powell, Naz Reid and Tim Hardaway Jr.

LeVert’s ability to lead the second unit and provide firepower off the bench has been a big factor in Cleveland’s season. The Cavs are third in the East with a 43-25 standing. They’ve had an up-and-down period in the last two weeks, but when fully healthy, the team generally performs as expected on paper.

Led by Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, the Cavs boast a quality core group that includes Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, Max Strus, and of course, Caris LeVert. With Marcus Morris Sr. joining their ranks, Cleveland looks to be on pace for a playoff appearance.

Needless to say, as hinted, they have to stay healthy first. Mitchell is currently day-to-day, Strus has been out for eight games while Mobley has only seen the floor in 38 outings this season.

With all that being said, the Cavs are surely looking to finish the regular season strong and be at full strength come mid-April.