The Cleveland Cavaliers have been on a roll, starting the 2022-23 campaign with a 6-1 record. While it is too early to predict how Cleveland will place in the standings at the end of the season, former Cavs player Richard Jefferson has already declared (and emphasized) that the team is one of the "two best teams in basketball."
Are the Cavs really that good?
Jefferson, who won a title with the franchise in the 2015-16 season, may be biased in his assertion about the Cavs. But it certainly has merit, considering how well the team has been playing this season.
Not only has it lost just one game this season, but Cleveland has already defeated Eastern Conference reigning champs Boston Celtics twice, including on Wednesday night. Both games went into overtime, with the Cavs showing their grit and determination in the extra periods to come away with the wins.
Newcomer Donovan Mitchell has been leading the way for Cleveland with 31.1 points per game. But he has had plenty of help as seven other Cavs players are averaging double-digits in points. All-Star Darius Garland is one of them, but he has appeared in just two matches after missing five games with an eye injury.
True test coming
It might be too early to say for certain where Cleveland ranks today in the Association, especially since the squad has faced only Eastern Conference teams to this date.
The following week will be a good test for the Cavs. They will embark on a five-game road trip that features matchups against the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Golden State Warriors - three teams desperate to change their trajectory.
It will be interesting to see if Cleveland can maintain its top-five offense and defense through the following games.