Cavaliers begin 2022-2023 campaign with preseason


Courtesy of The Associated Press

Cavs’ shooting guard Donovan Mitchell fends off 76ers’ Joel Embiid during a preseason game.

Ishan Kulkarni, Staff Writer

After kicking off their basketball activities with a training camp late in September, the Cleveland Cavaliers look to prepare for the 2022-2023 NBA season with four preseason games. Two of these warm-up games were against the Philadelphia 76ers, with the first one in Philadelphia and the second one at home in Cleveland. 

In the first game, Cavs’ head coach J.B. Bickerstaff limited the starters to around 20 minutes each, while all of the bench had to fight for a spot in the rotation. All-star guard Donovan Mitchell, who was acquired from the Utah Jazz in a blockbuster offseason trade, had a strong showing, scoring 16 points on 6-9 shooting in 19 minutes to go along with five assists. 

Aside from Mitchell, no other Cavalier shined. Given that it was preseason, it was clear that the pieces were still being put together and the team was trying to figure out which combinations worked best. The game still came down to the wire as the Cavaliers lost by just one point, with the final score being 113-112. 

The second game was more of a dress rehearsal for the team as the starters played their regular minutes, with center Jarrett Allen playing for a team-high 34 minutes. Evan Mobley and Kevin Love were given a rest day, so Dean Wade started in the power forward role and was the only starter who did not hit double digits in scoring. 

Allen and point guard Darius Garland led the team in scoring with 19 and 17 points, respectively. Allen also recorded a team-high 12 rebounds to go along with that. The Cavaliers’ bench failed to make an impact and the entire team had a subpar 3-point shooting performance, going 5-21 on the night. The 76ers starters only averaged around 24 minutes, allowing their bench to get an extended run. Despite this, the Cavaliers lost 113-97. 

The team now has two more preseason games against the Atlanta Hawks and the Orlando Magic. These will likely be games where the starters are rested before the regular season opener and all the bench players will go out and compete for the last open roster spots. With 20 players on the roster, the Cavs must cut it down to 15 active roster spots and a maximum of two two-way contracts before the opening night of the regular season. The team can also choose not to fill all their roster spots and wait to see if other teams drop any players that they think will fit the team better. 

The Cavaliers open their regular season on the road against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, Oct. 19.