The Cavs dominate at the rim
The biggest reason for the Cavs turnaround is their sudden transformation into an elite defensive team. Last year’s Cavs finished No. 25 in defensive efficiency, which was actually a decent improvement from units that finished No. 30 and No. 29 the previous two years. In Year 3, Garland has pushed for an All-Star nod, and developed into the driving force of everything the Cavs do offensively. The Cavs still had two years and $59 million on Love’s contract entering the season, and it sure felt like they’d given up all hope of him ever becoming a dependable veteran for a decent team again.